Ford vehicle sales in Turkey and Russia increased significantly in October, highlighting improving customer confidence says the US automaker.

Sales in Turkey rose by 44% compared to October 2009, while in Russia sales were up by 28% this year. Market share in Russia was 4.7%, up 0.3 percentage points and share in Turkey surged 4.1 percentage points to 16.2%.

In October, Ford said it also achieved its highest commercial vehicles market share since 2007 across its traditional 19 European markets - at 8.85%, up 0.85 percentage points compared to 2009.

Ford added it remains Europe's number two best-selling passenger car brand in its traditional 19 European markets after the first ten months of 2010.

Ford also claims overall market leadership in the UK, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland and Turkey, and says it was the number one imported brand in Italy and the Czech Republic year-to-date.

This success comes despite continued heavy discounting by some competitors said Ford and the lowest October month and October year-to-date industry volumes across the manufacturer's key 19 European markets since 1995.

Total European new car sales declined for the seventh month in October, down by 14.1% to 1,187,400 units, and Ford expects total industry sales to reach 15m units in 2010, down from the 15.9m level last year.

"While we're delighted by the sales success of our products in Turkey and Russia, the European market overall continues to be very weak," said Ford of Europe vice president marketing, sales and service Ingvar Sviggum.

"We expect the European market to be around 15m units in 2010, down from 15.9m last year. Also, we now expect the market to continue to decline in 2011, and expect it to be in the vicinity of 14m to 15m units."

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