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GERMANY: Ford says to sell 900,000 upmarket cars this year

By Press Release | 10 November 2000

HAMBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) - U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co. will sell 900,000 upmarket and luxury cars this year and aims to increase that to 1.2 million in the next few years, said board member Wolfgang Reitzle

Reitzle said he expected Land Rover to return to profit by 2002.

Reitzle said Ford wouldn't start to offer cars at discounts to achieve its sales target. U.S. car companies have suffered severely in recent quarters due to price cuts to survive stiff competition.

"We won't pressure the market with price discounts," Reitzle told an evening dinner event in Hamburg.

In the U.S., the PAG group is already number one and sales there will rise to 500,000 in the next few years, said Reitzle.

"The German market is, however, the most difficult for us," said Reitzle. He said this was because Germany is home to BMW and DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Benz brand .

But Reitzle said the company aims to increase sales from about 60,000 currently by expanding and modernising its distribution system in Germany.

All brands have potential that PAG wants to exploit, said Reitzle, former head of development at BMW.

While Ford aims to improve quality as well as to cut production costs with its mother company, Reitzle wants each brand to keep its own character.
"All brands should maintain their distinct image," said Reitzle.

(C) Reuters Limited 2000.