Ford Says European Sales Fall In June

BERLIN (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. saw sales fall 17 percent across its main European markets in June as scrappage schemes expired and the economy showed feeble growth, the company said Tuesday.

Some 118,800 new Fords were registered last month in the company's 19 traditional main European markets, 24,400 fewer than a year earlier, Ford said.

For the first half, new registrations in the main European markets were down by 3.9 percent, or 29,300 vehicles, to 716,900.

The automaker said it is doing well in growth markets and increasing volumes and market share in Russia, Turkey and Spain.

"The market is weakening as a result of the ending of scrappage schemes and the continuing frailty of the European economic recovery," Ford of Europe Vice President Ingvar Sviggum said in a statement. "But we expected this to happen this year, and have a robust plan to deal with the situation."

"We will not sacrifice profitability for volume or share, as some of our competitors seem to be doing," Sviggum added. "We believe such unsustainable heavy discounting only damages brand reputation and further weakens the market."

Ford said its market share in the main European markets was 7.8 percent in June -- down from 9 percent a year earlier. For the first half, it slipped to 8.7 percent from 9.2 percent.

The sales picture last month across all 51 of Ford's European markets was slightly brighter. The company said it sold a total of 142,500 vehicles -- a year-on-year decline of 18,100, or 11.4 percent.

For the first half, new registrations for the 51 markets totaled 823,700, a fall of 32,900, or 3.9 percent.

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