Ford sold 359,400 vehicles in the first quarter 2019 in its traditional European 20 markets, achieving 7.6% market share, but that was down 0.4 percentage points, while its commercial vehicle share rose 0.4 percentage points to 14.5%, suggesting its strategy to focus more on profitable LCVs is making sense.

The blue oval shifted old 102,400 commercials, saying it was its best sales performance in the first quarter since 1993.

Commercial vehicle business grew 3.3% in the UK, 25.9% in Germany, 20.1% in France, and 14.3% in Italy versus first quarter 2018.

The Romanian built EcoSport enjoyed its best first quarter on sales and market share, reaching 31,700 sales, up 34.8% (it's had a major update in the last year or so).

High-series Titanium, Vignale, Active, ST-line, ST and RS accounted for 72% of passenger vehicle sales, up 2.1%.

Retail and fleet customer sales accounted for 74.5% of passenger vehicle sales in the top five European markets in Q1 2019, growing 1.5% year on year.

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"I'm very pleased to see that now close to half of our sales come from our commercial vehicles and SUVs," said sales and marketing head Roelant de Waard.

"This is a trend we expect to grow as we launch more new commercial vehicles, like the Transit Custom PHEV, and SUVs, including the Explorer PHEV, in Europe during the year."