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US:Ford says rate of U.S. share decline slowing

Ford says rate of U.S. share decline slowing


DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is seeing the rate of decline in its U.S. market share slowing, the president of the automaker's Americas unit, said on Wednesday.

"So far this year, our U.S. share decline has been half of what it was a year ago," unit head Mark Fields said at the New York auto show. "That means we're making progress on slowing the rate of decline, which is the first step toward stabilizing it over time."

Fields said the automaker is committed to selling more than 900,000 F-series trucks this year for the third year in a row.

Ford has seen a protracted decline in its U.S. market share. It ended 2005 with a market share of 17.4 percent, excluding its luxury brands, the lowest since the late 1920s.

U.S. sales fell 4.7 percent in March and are down 2.8 percent so far this year, compared with a decline of 3.9 percent in the comparable period a year ago.

Fields, whose speech was Webcast, said he was pleased with the early progress in Ford's restructuring plan for its North American unit.

"But it remains a long journey," Fields said.

Strong competition, soaring costs for healthcare and raw material, and the slide in U.S. market share forced the automaker to announce a second restructuring for its North American operations in four years.

Ford, which is saddled with a junk debt rating, plans to close 14 plants and slash up to 30,000 blue-collar jobs as part of a plan designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in North America. Globally, however, Ford made $2 billion.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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