Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday that U.S. sales fell 24.2 percent in May for all of its brands as the only U.S. automaker not in bankruptcy reported its strongest domestic sales month since July 2008.

Ford sales fell to 161,531 vehicles in May, including all of its brands, from 213,238 vehicles a year earlier. For its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands combined, sales fell 24.3 percent to 155,954 vehicles in May from a year earlier.

The 155,954 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles sold in May represented the strongest month for those brands since July 2008.

Ford is among the first of the large automakers to report U.S. auto sales for May, a day after rival General Motors Corp filed for bankruptcy protection in New York, joining Chrysler, which had filed for bankruptcy on April 30.

The automaker said it reduced incentive spending in May, but believed that the market share for its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands grew to its highest level since 2006.

For those brands, car sales fell 25.5 percent from a year earlier, crossover sales fell 9 percent, SUV sales fell 37.4 percent and truck and van sales fell 28.7 percent, it said.

Ford said on Monday it had made a small production increase in North America for the second quarter over its previous plan and set a third-quarter production plan of 460,000 vehicles, or 42,000 higher than a year earlier.

The automaker said it ended May with inventories of 350,000 vehicles, or a 56-day supply, 210,000 lower than a year earlier.

Ford shares were unchanged at $6.13 on the New York Stock Exchange in early afternoon.

(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by Matthew Lewis).