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VENEZUELA: Ford unit output jumps - report

By just-auto.com editorial team | 3 November 2003

Ford's Venezuela unit has increased its output by around 50% and expects to produce 2,500 units a month during the last quarter of this year, a company representative told Reuters.

Production increases were driven by its two recently launched EcoSport and Fiesta models and good demand for its Cargo truck line and Explorer models, the Ford spokesman told the news agency.

"We have gone up roughly 50% in production volumes from the third quarter to the fourth. We are projecting an average of 2,500 vehicles a month for the fourth quarter," Ricardo Tinoco told Reuters.

Tinoco reportedly said the company is forecasting industry-wide production next year at around 70,000 to 90,000 vehicles, reflecting a slight recovery in the market - that compares with its forecasts of around 62,000 units for this year.

Reuters noted that Venezuela's vehicle industry has been battered by the country's sharp economic slide while a two-month opposition strike in December and January and tight currency controls introduced in February have also undercut domestic sales.

Citing Venezuelan Automobile Chamber figures, Reuters said a total of 5,140 cars were sold in the country in September compared with 8,025 units in September 2002 - those sales are the lowest September results since 1994 when 4,262 units were sold in the domestic market.

Accumulated sales during the first nine months of 2003 fell by 61% to 43,017 cars from 109,870 units sold in the same period last year, Reuters said.