Ford records growth in January

Leading car manufacturer Ford kicked off its centenary year with a strong performance, boosting sales in a weakened January market, according to figures .

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that Ford captured 16.4% of the total vehicle market last month - a 0.7 % rise year-on-year.

While Ford's sales dropped from 22,128 during the same time last year to 19,657 in January 2011, its overall share of car sales climbed from 15.2% to 15.3%.

More importantly, the company's share in the retail car market in January was 13.1% - an improvement of 0.9 % on the previous year.

Ford's hatchback Focus garnered the highest sales in the UK in January, toppling the Ford Fiesta off the top spot for the first time since May 2010.

Sales of Focus went up from 6,953 in January 2010 to 7,582 last month, while its overall share of car sales shot up from 4.8 % to 5.9 %.

The Ford C-MAX range, the Ford S-MAX and the Ford Galaxy also registered similar growth in sales and market share.

Nigel Sharp, Ford Britain managing director, said: "We have kicked off our centenary year with a strong sales performance right across the Ford range of cars and commercials. The all-round appeal of our vehicles is more evident than ever, supported by an unrivalled dealer network."

Copyright © Press Association 2011