Ford says that new trade-in data show Ford is increasingly winning new customers from competing brands in the US, a key reason the company has gained retail share.

For the Ford brand, the rate of customers who traded in competitive brand vehicles rose 18 percent from the 2005 to 2009 model year, ford says. The conquest rate for Lincoln rose 61 percent, while Mercury saw a 12 percent increase from the 2005 to 2009 model year.

"We're finding that when customers of competing brands check out our new lineup and understand the quality, fuel efficiency and value we offer, they are increasingly becoming Ford owners," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service.

"The strength of our new products is making the difference in a very competitive marketplace."

Ford says that among Ford vehicles, the Fusion Hybrid, Escape Hybrid and Mustang attract the most customers who trade in competing brands. For example, more than 60 percent of trade-ins for the Fusion Hybrid were non-Ford vehicles. More than 50 percent of trade-ins for the Ford Mustang were competitive brands.

The redesigned Ford Taurus showed the biggest increase in attracting new customers to the Ford brand between 2005 and 2009.

For the Lincoln and Mercury brands, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid and Lincoln MKX attracted the most customers from competing brands.

"We're seeing customers from competing brands in the showroom that we haven't seen in a long time, if ever," said Kevin Collins, president and owner of the Bill Collins Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealership in Louisville, Ky. "Customers have been looking at our products for two reasons. They are impressed with Ford products' quality improvement, and they are pleasantly surprised with our entire lineup. Ford is back on their shopping list."