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Ford: ‘We're not slipping back’

Ford Sales
2010 Mustangs and Mustang GT's sit at a Ford dealership in the Colorado city of Centennial. Ford's top sales analyst said U.S. auto sales may have stopped their month to month declines in June.David Zalubowski / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Ford's top sales analyst said Monday U.S. auto sales may have stopped their month to month declines in June and could be down less than 30 percent for the first time since September of last year.

Automakers, which are due to report June sales in the U.S. on Wednesday, have seen sales fall 37 percent over the first five months of the year.

As bad as it sounds, a decline of less than 30 percent could be a welcome relief, as automakers and suppliers have trimmed production and other costs to adjust to lower consumer sales.

"The important takeaway is that we're not going backward, we're not slipping back," said Ford's George Pipas during a sales preview talk with reporters. "It suggests the worst is behind us, not just the economy, but we may have seen the low point for the year."

He said June sales for Ford Motor Co. were "good" compared with the overall industry. The Dearborn-based automaker could see the a year-over-year decline of 10 to 20 percent, which could be the lowest among all major automakers, Pipas said.

"This will be our lowest decline of this year," he said.