Ford’s European first-half 2009 sales were down 16.3 per cent on last year, the firm has announced.
Ford blames a weak market for its sales slump, but June’s sales were more encouraging as sales were up 1.6 per cent. This was the first year-on-year increase since December.
Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe's head of marketing, said: “While June was a more positive month, we're still a long way from a sustained and healthy market.”
He said the sales figures would have been much worse if it weren’t for the success of scrappage schemes in countries such as Germany, France and the UK.
Sviggum added that the lack of freely available credit and rising unemployment were also factors in declining sales.
Ford’s 19 main European markets, which are mainly in western Europe, suffered a drop of 11 per cent, or 90,200 units.
The Ford Fiesta and Ford Ka are continuing to sell in large numbers. Ford sold 43,700 new Fiestas in June, 13,100 more than the previous-generation Fiesta in June 2008. The latest Ka sold 9800 units, 4100 more than the previous model in the same month last year.