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Ford strengthens sales in Europe

Ford further strengthened its vehicle sales in Europe during March, and has announced that it took a 9.8% share of the overall European vehicle market for the month and completed the first quarter of 2004 with a total share of 9.2%, ahead of the previous year.

Ford sold a total of 191,000 vehicles in March, some 10,000 units more than in last year and reflecting a strong performance in most key European markets, with record vehicle sales for the month in Britain, Spain, Finland, Poland, Greece and Hungary. Ford's cars sales reached 164,000, ahead of the previous year in the UK, France and Spain. Its performance was boosted by particular growth in its Ford Fiesta, Focus C-MAX and Streetka lines. Overall, Ford estimates that it took a 9.6% share of a larger European car segment, 0.1 percentage points below last year.

Ford also sold a total of 27,000 commercial vehicles to achieve an estimated 10.9% share of this segment, 0.7 percentage points above 2003 and with record commercial vehicle sales for March in Britain, Sweden, Finland and Greece. The Ford Transit, Transit Connect and Ranger all performed strongly.

In Spain, Ford achieved the best sales month in its history during March to take second place in the market, with car sales up a massive 50% over last year to total 19,220 units.

Earl Hesterberg, vice president marketing, sales and service at Ford of Europe, said that the Focus continued to surprise them with the ongoing strength of its performance.

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