Ford sales down again

Sales of Ford Motor Co. cars and trucks plummeted 26.6% in August, despite healthy gains of the company’s fuel-efficient cars, such as the Focus compact car, which was up 23.4% during the month.

Year-to-date sales for Ford are now down a sharp 15.8%.

Other automakers were slated to release their results throughout the day.

Ford sales were down the most for the Mercury brand, which was off 31.7%, followed by the Ford brand, down 26.2%.

Ford’s luxury Lincoln brand, which is enjoying strong sales of the MKS large car, was down 8.5%, a performance that will likely outperform the declines in the overall market.

Overall, sales were down 8.9% for the automaker’s cars, down 1.3% for crossovers, down 53% for SUVs and down 38.5% for pickup trucks and vans.

Ford’s crossover segment was boosted by the small Ford Escape crossover, which posted a 17.3% sales gain in August.

“The Focus and Escape offer the features and fuel economy today’s consumers want," Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for sales and marketing, said in a statement.

Ford does not see the market for new vehicles rebounding anytime soon.

“We expect the second half of 2008 will be more challenging than the first half," Farley said, “as weak economic conditions and the consumer credit crunch continues." Detroit Free Press

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