Ford truck sales climb 14.9%

Ford Motor Co said its December 2001 sales increased 2% over the same month in 2000 as strong truck sales outweighed sharply lower car sales.

Car sales fell 19.7% to 83,045, while sales of pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles rose 14.9% to 198,113. The results include Ford's foreign brands — Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo — and heavy-truck sales.

Ford was forced to match interest-free loans and rebates offered by General Motors Corp, which had targeted Ford's truck business. Ford executives had said the deals were too expensive to maintain for long. For all of 2001, Ford's sales were down 5.5% to 3,971,364 vehicles. Car sales were off 11.4%, and truck sales were down 1.6%.

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