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cobrabitn
04-29-2007, 01:49 AM
FORD OF EUROPE REPORTS BEST-EVER MARCH SALES

Ford of Europe total vehicle sales increased by 4.6 per cent in March, to 220,326

First-quarter total vehicle sales improved by 6 per cent, to 479,355.

COLOGNE, April 13, 2007 Ford of Europe has achieved its best-ever March sales. With rising demand for its cars and commercial vehicles across Europe, the company increased sales by 4.6 per cent, to 220,326, compared with the same month last year. Market share improved by 0.1 percentage points, to 9.8 per cent.

That strong performance boosted the company's first-quarter total vehicle sales in its main 21 European markets to 479,355, an increase of 6 per cent compared with 2006. Market share increased by 0.2 percentage points, to 9.2 per cent.

Ford of Europe's bumper March sales were led by Britain, where a biannual registration plate change brought sales of 81,600, 3.8 per cent above prior year. Market share rose by 3-tenths of a percentage point, to 16.1 per cent. Among other markets also reporting strong Ford sales in March, Italy sold 24,500 vehicles (+ 14.4 per cent) and Spain 21,000 (+8.7 per cent).

The Focus and Fiesta were Ford of Europe's top-selling vehicles, supported by rising sales of the award-winning S-MAX (Car of the Year 2007) and Transit (International Van of the Year 2007), as well as the other models in the company's range.

"Our best-ever March sales figures capped a strong first quarter," said Stephen Odell, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. "We have added more style and emotion to our established reputation for driving dynamics and customers clearly approve. As we showed last month, when we unveiled the all-new Mondeo, our commitment to giving customers the vehicles they want is continuing and we are looking for further sales growth in the months ahead."

Editors' note:

Ford of Europe's sales data includes both passenger cars and commercial vehicles from its 21 major European sales companies, including Russia and Turkey. Total market share excludes Russia.

FORD FOCUS WINS TOP HONOUR AT AUTO EXPRESS USED CAR AWARDS

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 11 April, 2007 Ford took the top award at the Auto Express Used Car Honours 2007 by securing best used car with the Ford Focus.

Further winners for Ford were the Ford Mondeo, which won the category for best family car while the Ford Focus also won the award for best compact car. The Ford Fiesta was commended in the supermini category and the Ford Focus ST was commended in the hot hatch category.

Commenting on the Ford Focus honour, Auto Express Editor David Johns said: "When it came to picking an overall winner, there was no argument. The Focus offers an unbeatable all-round package".

The Ford Focus was the overwhelming choice of Auto Express's panel of expert judges, which included Jeff Paterson from industry trade bible Glass's Guide and car trader-turned TV presenter Mike Brewer. They summarised its performance by pointing out that the acid test of asking themselves whether they could recommend a car to a close friend or relative didn't apply to the Focus because all the judges would happily take one home for themselves to keep!

Ford Focus strengths recognised by the panel of experts included its quality interior, fine engines and excellent chassis, and genuine desirability. Like any other Ford the judges noted owners also benefit from low running costs and a huge dealer network.

Kevin Griffin, director of fleet operations Ford of Britain and responsible for used car sales nationally, commented: "The top award recognises the strength in depth provided by the Ford Focus range. Also, it underlines the quality and reliability offered by the Ford range backed up by low cost of ownership and an unmatched dealer network."