2/4/2008

Ford: "Turkey and Russia to drive sales increase in Europe''

Bloomberg - Ford Motor Co., the world's third- largest carmaker, forecast a fifth consecutive year of European profit as new models such as the Focus, Kuga and Verve boost sales in the region. Ford's European sales advanced 5.4 percent in 2007 to a record 1.83 million vehicles on demand for the Fiesta, which the Verve will replace, and Focus models. ''We should have a solid year of profit... I certainly intend for sales to be better in 2008 than in 2007'' John Fleming, Ford of Europe chief, said. “Russia and Turkey will probably be the main markets driving the European sales increase in 2008”, Fleming added. Fleming said he's 'really worried' about how the U.K. and German markets will develop this year. Industrywide purchases in Germany fell 9.2 percent in 2007 to 3.15 million vehicles following an increase in the sales tax last January, while sales in the U.K. rose 2.5 percent to 2.4 million vehicles.