Mark Fields believes Ford is hitting the right balance on the level of incentives in the US market

Mark Fields believes Ford is hitting the right balance on the level of incentives in the US market

The US light vehicle market is heading for around 17m units in 2015, Ford CEO Mark Fields told just-auto at the Paris Motor Show. A market of 17m would take the industry close to former peaks and a new record market is a possibility.

US auto sales in 2001 reached 17.2m cars and light trucks, a year after a record 17.4m.

"Our guidance for this year is that the industry will come in at between 16.3m units and 16.8m. Our current guidance for next year is between 16.8m and 17.5m."

Fields said that the first three or four years of market growth in the US following the recession were accounted for mainly by pent-up demand but that replacement demand is now driving the market up.

"We have had that initial pent-up demand release and replacement demand is now driving demand. We expect the market to come in next year in the range of around 17m units," he said.

He also maintained that he is happy with Ford's position on market incentives and that Ford is not chasing market share.

"From an incentives standpoint, our approach as a company is first and foremost we manage for profits and operating margin and not necessarily market share. We want to run a healthy business.

"When you look at our incentives on a year over year basis, they have been fairly stable this year. And that's helped our residual values for our customers. We will be prudent as we go forward to make sure that we have that nice balance."