US: Fields banks on a continued, but slow, recovery
Ford does not expect a double-dip recession, the company’s president of the Americas, Mark Fields, said.
Despite US house sales dipping a record 27% in July, suggesting a further weakening of a recovering economy, Fields told reporters: “At this point, we don't see a double-dip recession." He added that it was too early to say whether weaker home sales would hurt Ford or US auto industry sales.
Low levels of consumer confidence and weak home sales have been two of the major factors pressuring vehicle sales this year. Fields said Ford is concerned about the impact of the weak housing sales figures on consumer confidence and whether they hold on to vehicles or decide to buy new ones.
"Consumers are really making sure they spend intelligently," he said, adding that he believed August sales of light vehicles in the US will be somewhere between 11m and 12m on an annualised basis.
Sales on an annualised basis have topped 11m for the past five months and Fields said the US market shows signs of improving.
Sales comparisons to last August will be skewed because of the government 'cash for clunkers' incentives which boosted sales above the rest of 2009.
In July, Ford took 16.8% of the US market, up from 15.5% in the same period in 2009, Fields said he expects August to be another good month for the company.