Ford U.S. auto sales fall 30.2 percent in October

DETROIT Mon Nov 3, 2008 2:43pm EST

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DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Monday posted an unadjusted 30.2 percent plunge in U.S. auto sales in October under pressure across all vehicle segments amid the slowing domestic economy and weak consumer confidence.

Ford, which posted an $8.7 billion second-quarter net loss, on Friday is expected to report a third-quarter net loss and to update its plans for maintaining liquidity to cope with the U.S. sales slowdown now seen continuing through next year.

The sales declines landed hardest on the SUV and crossover segments for the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands combined.

For October, sales fell to 132,838 vehicles from 190,195 vehicles a year earlier, including all of Ford's brands, the automaker said.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand sales fell 29 percent from a year earlier. In those brands, car sales fell 26.8 percent, crossover sales 38.8 percent, SUV sales 53.9 percent and truck and van sales 19.2 percent.

The automaker has launched a redesigned version of its top-selling F-150 pickup truck, including a new national ad campaign that started on Sunday. It also has accelerated plans to shift some truck production in North America to cars.

The automaker said it had its highest retail market share in two years, supported by its top-selling F-Series pickups, where sales fell 16.3 percent to 43,324 from a year earlier.

Among other key vehicles, Ford reported that sales of its Focus compact car fell 18.2 percent, while sales of the Fusion midsize sedan fell 3.3 percent.

The results were not adjusted for an additional selling day in October 2008 versus a year earlier.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Brian Moss)

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