Ford of Europes new-car sales fell 23.1 percent in its major markets in January but the automaker said it is taking a larger slice of a smaller cake.
Ford increased its market share in its 19 main European markets last month by 0.5 percentage points to 9.3 percent despite an overall market decline of 27.2 percent, said Ingvar Sviggum, Fords head of sales and marketing.
So we are in effect taking a larger slice of a much smaller cake, Sviggum said.
Ford blamed the economic recession after its unit sales in 19 European markets declined by 29,500 units to 98,300.
Sviggum said he was delighted that new products such as the Fiesta and Ka are selling well. In January, Ford sold 28,300 Fiestas and 5,200 of its new Ka and 900 of the outgoing Ka.
Sales in Fords 51 European markets including Russia and Turkey fell by 24.6 percent or 36,600 units to 112,600 in January compared with the same month last year.
Ford said the Spanish market was badly hit by the downturn, with sales declining 48.8 percent to 6,700.
Sviggum said the downturn had spread to emerging markets in eastern Europe, with markets such as Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria suffering overall declines of 50 to 60 percent.
This is not just a mature European situation, but a total European situation, Sviggum said.
Ford is reducing its costs and cutting production because of the downturn.
Last week, the carmaker announced it is cutting 850 jobs in the UK and delaying the launch of its new Transit commercial vehicle to save cash.
Cost reductions are also being discussed at Fords other European sites.