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Automotive News Europe

Ford celebrates sales boost in Europe's top two markets
Scrappage incentives help March sales of the Fiesta, Ka

Ford Motor's sales grew significantly in Europe's two biggest markets in March, boosted by scrappage incentives.

In Germany, Europe's No. 1 market, Ford's sales increased by 39.6 percent to 28,300 last month compared with the same month in 2008. In Italy, Europe's second largest market, Ford's sales were up 21.7 percent to 23,800.

Both countries offer car buyers incentives to scrap old cars for new, more fuel-efficient models.

In the United Kingdom, which so far has not agreed a scrappage incentive, Ford's sales fell by 21,100 to 62,300 in March.

Scrappage bonuses in European markets also including France and Spain helped to boost sales of the Fiesta small car and Ka minicar.

The Fiesta had its best sales month in Germany in March since 1998. The Ka had its best month since 2002.

The Fiesta was Ford's biggest seller across Europe with 52,800 sold in March, bringing sales since the car was launched in the autumn to almost 170,000.

Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe's head of sales and marketing, said: “It is very encouraging to see Fiesta doing so well and also our market share developing so positively, given the declining market we are continuing to face in Europe.”

Ford said it increased market share in its main 19 European markets by 0.2 percentage points to 10 percent in March, consolidating its position as Europe's second best-selling brand.

This is the first time Ford of Europe's market share has been in double digits since September 2001, Ford said.

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