Ford Focus continued its strong sales pace in October helping to drive Ford of Canada car sales up 7.7 per cent compared to the same month last year. Canadians bought 4,074 Ford Focus' last month -- an 87 per cent increase over last October.

In trucks, the all-new Ford Escape sub-compact sport utility vehicle exceeded initial sales expectations by tallying 708 units in its first full month of sales.

"Canadians are clearly excited about the new Ford Escape. It's the perfect combination of value, functionality and fun," said Torrey Galida, vice president of marketing, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. "Like Focus, Escape is expected to attract a new type of buyer to Ford with its superb handling and roomy interior."

Total October truck sales of 11,364 units marked a 23.5 per cent drop compared to last year's record sales pace. The decline is largely attributed to a 57.7% decrease in sales of Ford Windstar, which is affected by a shortage of air bag modules. In addition, October was a slower month industry-wide for the sport utility vehicle segment contributing to a 34.8 per cent decrease in Ford Explorer sales compared to the same month last year.

"Explorer is Canada's best-selling SUV, so when the segment as a whole has a slow month, Explorer is significantly affected," Galida noted.

Canadians bought or leased 18,303 Ford cars and trucks in the month of October, a 14.1 per cent decrease compared to the same month last year.

Year-to-date sales up 1.3%

Canadians have purchased 239,418 Ford car and trucks so far this year marking a 1.3 per cent increase over the same period last year. Year-to-date car sales have increased 15.6 per cent to 84,237 units and truck sales totaled 155,181 units -- representing the third-best year-to-date truck sales performance ever and a slight five per cent drop compared to last year's record pace.

October Highlights

- Ford Focus sales were up 87 per cent in October compared

to the same month last year

- Focus sales were 55 per cent higher last month than the

combined sales of Focus, Escort, Contour and Mystique

last October

- Ford Mustang sales increased 6.6 per cent, the best October

sales performance in five years

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Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited

October 2000, and Year-To-Date Vehicle Sales

2000 1999 % Change

Total Vehicles
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 18,303 21,302 -14.1%

January - October 239,418 236,263 +1.3%

Total Cars
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 6,939 6,442 +7.7%

January - October 84,237 72,871 +15.6%

Total Trucks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 11,364 14,860 -23.5%

January - October 155,181 163,392 -5.0%%