DETROIT - Ford Motor Co posted its best October sales and market share in a dozen years in its main 19 European markets on Wednesday, but warned that European countries and the EU needed to take further action to bolster auto demand in the region next year.
Ford said sales rose 12.8 percent in October for its main 19 European markets, outstripping a 6.8 percent gain for the industry overall that has been supported by programs that provide incentives to trade older vehicles for newer cars.
The so-called scrappage programs across several European countries are similar to the U.S. government's cash for clunkers program that boosted U.S. sales in July and August and are winding down.
Automakers are watching closely to see the impact on sales after the programs conclude because of the potential for a steep drop-off in demand.
Ford has forecast 2010 industry sales in its main 19 European markets of 13 million to 14.5 million vehicles, or down about 2 million from this year. The automaker's full 2009 sales forecast for the region is 15.7 million vehicles.
The automaker, which posted a third-quarter profit of nearly $1 billion that surprised Wall Street analysts last week, said sales rose 12.8 percent to 121,000 vehicles in October for its main 19 nation European region. Ford's share of the region rose 0.5 percentage points to 8.8 percent.
Ford shares were up 9 cents at $8.33 at midday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by David Bailey; editing by Andre Grenon)