With sales in the US up a notch in April when compared to the previous year, Ford Motor Co. feels encouraged with the economic metrics being in the right direction, according to Americas President Mark Fields.
At an auto-industry breakfast in Detroit, Fields said that he is cautiously optimistic on consumer confidence. However, Fields declined to reveal specific details on the sales it has received so far this month.
The Automotive News data center said that Ford delivered 133,979 units in the US in April 2009, a 32% drop from April 2008 with deliveries of 195,665 vehicles.
Many consider Fields comments to be indicative of a rebound in the US auto market. Industrywide deliveries increased by 24% in March, marking a fifth consecutive monthly advance.
Sales during the first quarter improved 16% from the same quarter last year. Fields said that the industry is concerned, not on whether there will be a recovery but on the extent and the wait before it is achieved.
Autodata Corp. said that Ford ended the first quarter with 17.4% of the domestic market. Fields revealed that the increase of 2.7 percentage points was Ford's largest quarterly gain since the last three months of 1977. Ford intends to remain competitive in offering incentives, while still limiting spending to below last year's levels.