August 13, 2009

Ford to boost production this year

Ford Motor Co. said it would ramp up production by 150,000 U.S. cars this year as sales have surged due to the U.S. Cash for Clunkers program.

Under the cash for clunkers program, the Ford Escape and Focus are flying off dealer lots, said Mark Fields, who directs Ford marketing in the Americas.

Ford said it would increase production by 10,000 vehicles in the third quarter and 140,000 in the fourth, compared to production figures from a year ago, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Across the industry, sales fell 12 percent in July from a year ago and 32 percent for the year to date. Ford, however, gained market share, posting a 2 percent sales increase in July.

The federal trade-in program, formally called the Car Allowance Rebate System, offeres car buyers rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 depending on the upgrade in fuel efficiency of new cars purchased. Lawmakers added $2 billion to the program last week after it ran through about $1 billion in rebates in its first week.