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03.01.01<P>DEARBORN, Mich., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. customers purchased or leased 303,657 cars and trucks from Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover dealers in February, down 11 percent from the same month a year ago. Last February, the company set a February sales record of 354,380.<P>``As expected, February sales fell short of last year's record-setting performance,'' said Bob Rewey, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F - news) Group Vice President, Global Consumer Services and North America. ``Still, we remain optimistic about the prospects for a 'soft landing' and healthy auto sales.''<P>``Similar to January, the annual sales rate in February appears to be in the mid-17 million range,'' Rewey continued. ``That's a far cry from the 19 million sales rate in the first two months of 2000, but it is a very good start -- better than we expected. In fact, it's looking more and more like 2001 could be the third best U.S. sales year in history.''<P>Ford Motor Company truck sales were 178,309 and car sales were 125,348, both down 11 percent.<P>The Ford Escape achieved its best sales month ever as 13,525 U.S. customers took delivery of the all-new subcompact sport utility vehicle.<P>North American Production<P>Ford is adjusting its previously-announced first quarter North American production plan upward by 10,000 units to 1,060,000 cars and trucks. The company's first quarter 2001 North American production is down 210,000 units (16%) compared with the first quarter 2000. In the second quarter 2001, the company plans to produce 1,250,000 cars and trucks, down 69,000 units (5%) compared with the second quarter 2000. <P>SOURCE: Ford Motor Company <P><BR> VOLVO BRAND FEBRUARY 2001 U.S. SALES<P> February Month DSR % February CYTD DSR %<BR> 2001 2000 Change 2001 2000 Change<BR> S40 1,271 2,387 -44.5 % 2,911 4,568 -36.3 %<BR> V40 190 440 -55.0 418 823 -49.2<BR> S60 2,166 NA NA 4,318 NA NA<BR> S70 34 2,113 -98.3 116 4,007 -97.1<BR> V70 1,104 2,395 -52.0 2,059 4,454 -53.8<BR> V70 XC 1,290 NA NA 2,863 NA NA<BR> C70 393 370 10.6 633 738 -14.2<BR> S80 1,403 2,701 -45.9 2,708 5,072 -46.6<BR> S90/V90 0 0 NA 0 0 NA<BR> Total Volvo 7,851 10,406 -21.4 % 16,026 19,662 -18.5 %<BR>
 
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