Ford Motor Co (F.N) has room for steady growth in its share of the North American and European auto markets, Chief Executive Alan Mulally said on Wednesday.
Ford, the only large U.S. automaker not to reorganize in 2009 under a government-supported bankruptcy, has increased its market share in the United States this year as rivals General Motors Co GM.UL and Chrysler stumbled toward bankruptcy.
As Ford continues to bring on small and mid-sized vehicles I think we have room to grow, profitably of course, in the United States, Mulally said in a meeting with industry analysts that was webcast.
Ford also has room to grow in Russia and Europe, he said.
Two very large mature markets, so growth will be steady, but not real dramatic, Mulally said of the U.S. and Europe. If you look at Asia-Pacific we have a lot of room to grow.
Ford, which has posted losses totaling about $30 billion for the years 2006 through 2008, expects to be at least break-even in 2011 consistent with a gradual recovery in the economy that would also bring an increase in industry sales.
The automaker expects U.S. auto industry sales to slump in September to levels seen earlier in 2009 with the U.S. government cash for clunkers incentive program exhausted.
Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said he expected September U.S. auto industry sales to range from an annualized rate of 9 million to 9.5 million vehicles.
Ford typically includes medium and heavy duty trucks in its U.S. auto industry sales forecasts.
(Reporting by David Bailey; editing by Andre Grenon)