A top Ford Motorexecutive expects industry-wide U.S. auto sales to rise for the first time in more than two years this month, thanks largely to the government's Cash for Clunkers program.
Sales may have risen as high as 13 million units on an annualized basis during August, Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, told reporters on Friday.
Retail sales at Ford in August have already surpassed last year's levels with a weekend still to go, he said. Ford's sales in July rose 2.4 percent.
"Overall, we thought it was a very, very successful program in jump-starting sales," Fields said of the clunkers program, which enticed drivers to trade in gas guzzlers by offering big rebates on new, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.