Ford mulls exporting cars to South America [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Ford mulls exporting cars to South America

08-22-2007, 10:15 AM

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is considering exporting more North American-built vehicles to South America to meet growing demand, Dominic DiMarco, president of Ford's South American division, said on Tuesday.

"We are looking at different options," DiMarco said in an interview, adding that Ford has not made a decision yet.

DiMarco said South America's auto market was growing fast, especially in Brazil and Argentina, but the automaker's future market share growth there may be constrained by lack of capacity.

"If the industry keeps growing, we might see some near-term constraint due to capacity," DiMarco said.

Ford's South American market share has grown to 12 percent this year from 8.4 percent in 2000. In stark contrast, Ford has lost 1 percentage point of U.S. market share each year since 2000, and it is tracking this year at 16.4 percent

The automaker is in the midst of closing 16 plants in North America to better align its capacity with declining U.S. demand for its vehicles.

Ford has been exporting its Mexican-built Fusion mid-size sedan since June 2006. The U.S. automaker also sells its North American-built Mustang sports car and Explorer and Expedition sports utility vehicles in small volumes in South America.