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Ford Fiesta, and Fusion Top European Sales
The Ford Fiesta, Ford's top-selling small car, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a seven percent increase in sales through August.
In the first eight months of 2006, Ford sold 248,500 new Fiestas in Europe, an in-crease of 15,600 units from the same period of 2005. August Fiesta sales were 19,200, a 16 percent increase from August a year ago.
Sales of the Ford Fusion in August were up 17 percent while for the January to Au-gust period they increased by 16 percent.
Ford made several changes to the Fiesta and Fusion last year to complement the models' acclaimed driving dynamics, including adding a more expressive exterior, increased color and trim choices, upgrading the interior, and offering Bluetooth phone connectivity and voice control.
Ford's most successful western European market in August was Germany, where 17,900 cars and commercial vehicles were sold for a market share of 7.9 per cent, up 0.3 pts. versus last year. Germany was followed by the UK with 15,000 units sold and a market share of 15.4 per cent, up 0.6 pts versus August 2005. Ford also ex-tended its lead as the No. 1 brand in the UK.
Like the months before, Ford also had strong performance in emerging markets like Russia and Turkey. In Russia, the company sold 8,100 units in August, 3,100 vehi-cles more than last year, and gained an import market share of 12.1 percent versus 10.3 percent in 2005. In Turkey, Ford's market share was 18.9 percent in August versus 17.0 percent in 2005.
In its 21 major European markets, Ford sold 95,300 vehicles, 400 units or 0.4 per-centage points less than in August 2005, in line with a general 'softening' of the in-dustry in some key markets.
Total Ford retail sales between January and August 2006 were 1,139,900 units, up 17,000 units or 1.5 percent versus last year, primarily driven by emerging markets like Turkey and Russia and stronger sales of the Ford Fiesta and Ford's commercial vehicles, Transit and Transit Connect.
Ford's sales data includes both passenger cars and commercial vehicles from its 21 major Euro-pean Sales Companies, including Russia and Turkey.