MUNICH -- Ford of Europe said new-car sales in its 19 main markets increased by 5 percent to 125,200 in July, giving the carmaker its highest market share since 1999.
Booming sales of the Fiesta and Ka helped Ford boost its market share by 0.6 percentage points to 9.0 percent. Total industry sales fell by 1.5 percent to 1.4 million, meaning Ford is continuing to take a larger slice of sales in a falling market.
Ford's sales in the 51 markets that comprise its European region, which includes Russia and Turkey, dropped by 8.9 percent to 136,500 last month, compared with a year earlier.
Scrapping incentives in major markets such as Germany, France and Italy have helped Fiesta and Ka sales.
Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe's head of marketing, sales and service, said the incentives should be phased out gradually to avoid a big drop in demand.
Despite the positive impact of various national vehicle scrappage schemes, the overall trend is still negative and the underlying market weak," Sviggum said in a statement.
"We strongly believe that these incentive schemes should continue for as long as practically possible, and then be phased out in an orderly manner to avoid any dramatic reduction in market demand that could damage the still fragile improvement we have seen in recent months," he added.
Ford is Europes No. 2 carmaker by unit sales after Volkswagen group.
In the first seven months, Ford of Europe sales in its 51 markets were down 15.3 percent to 977,200. In the core 19 markets, sales fell by 7.3 percent to 871,400 against an industry drop of 12.2 percent to 9.54 million.
In July, Germany was Fords top European market with sales of 29,400, compared with No. 2 U.K. at 28,500.
During the month, Ford sold 40,000 Fiestas in Europe, 14,500 more than the year before, and 10,500 Ka models, 7,500 more than in July last year.