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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds official launch of re-election campaign

TORONTO - Toronto’s controversial Mayor Rob Ford threw a large party _ complete with recorded music and a live band _ for the official launch of his re-election campaign.< Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, held the event at the Toronto Congress Centre in the west-end Etobicoke area he previously represented as a city councillor. The mayor made his way through the crowd along a red carpet to the stage, led by bag-pipers and volunteers carrying campaign signs as people snapped pictures with cellphones.

Ford launches luxury Lincoln brand in China

Ford Motor launched its luxury Lincoln car brand in China on Thursday, just days ahead of Beijing's auto show in the world's largest car market. Ford, the second-largest US automaker, said the Lincoln was designed specifically for China customers. The company will begin sales in the autumn in seven cities with the Lincoln MKZ, a midsize sedan, and the Lincoln MKC, a small sports utility vehicle. By 2016, three other Luxury vehicles will have joined the line-up: a midsize SUV, an "all-new" full-size sedan and a large SUV, the Lincoln Navigator.

Ford's Lincoln brand to debut in China in seven cities

By Norihiko Shirouzu BEIJING (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's premium brand Lincoln may be late to China's luxury boom, but its top executives say the upscale car market still has plenty of steam left for growth to make its debut later this year worthwhile.

Ford says Russian joint venture cutting 950 jobs due to weaker sales, falling ruble

Ford Motor Co. says its Russian joint venture is cutting 950 jobs due to falling sales and the declining value of the ruble. The automaker says that Ford Sollers will cut 700 jobs at its plant in St. Petersburg and an estimated 250 temporary employees in Tartarstan. The reductions affect about 19 per cent of its 5,000-person workforce in Russia. Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., has a long history in Russia.

Ford's Russian joint venture to cut third of jobs as sales fall

Ford's Russian joint venture said Wednesday it plans to cut a third of its staff at its factory outside the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg due to falling sales. "We confirm that we will reduce our workforce in the Saint Petersburg plant by about 700 positions," a spokeswoman for Ford-Sollers told AFP. The plant in Vsevolozhsk on the outskirts of Russia's second largest city employs around 2,000 people assembling cars and commercial vehicles. "We hope to achieve this through voluntary means," the spokeswoman added.

Ford sees U.S. 16 million annualized auto sales rate, including big trucks

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> said it expects U.S. auto sales to be 16.0 million vehicles at an annualized rate in March, slightly less than the estimate in a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Ford included medium and heavy trucks in its forecast, which accounts for about 300,000 vehicles annually. The average forecast of 40 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for 15.8 million vehicles on an annualized basis, not including the trucks. Ford's March U.S. sales rose 3 percent to 244,167 vehicles.

China's auto sales rise 11.3 per cent in January-February but local brands suffer decline

BEIJING, China - China's auto sales rose 11.3 per cent in the first two months of this year but local brands suffered a decline in a sign of intense competition in the world's biggest auto market, an industry group reported Monday. Sales for the two-month period totalled 3.1 million vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sales by domestic auto brands declined 1 per cent to 1.2 million vehicles.

After a frigid February, March will be a true test of US demand for new vehicles

DETROIT - March will be one of the most crucial months for the U.S. auto industry in years. Sales were slower than expected In January and February, and the number of unsold cars on dealer lots grew. Some automakers had to resort to juicy discounts to lure reluctant buyers. Most industry executives, dealers and analysts blame the historic cold temperatures and snowfall and expect warmer weather to restore consumers' enthusiasm for car buying. Most still expect annual sales to exceed 16.1 million, which would be the highest level since 2006.

U.S. auto sales top expectations but incentives could hit profit

By Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales in February were slightly brisker than expected as hefty incentives lured customers into dealerships late in the month despite cold and snowy weather, raising concerns about industry profitability. The chilly temperatures were enough to pressure last month's sales, which are expected to be up only slightly from the year-ago month, automakers said.

Ford's US sales down 6 pct in February as bad weather keeps buyers home

DETROIT - Ford's U.S. sales dropped 6 per cent in February as winter weather kept many buyers at home. Ford's car sales dropped 14 per cent and utility sales were down 4 per cent. Pickup truck sales remained a bright spot. Ford's F-Series sales were up nearly 3 per cent to 55,882. It was the best February for the F-Series in eight years. Ford's luxury Lincoln brand also saw improvement. Sales of the MKZ sedan, which went on sale last spring, more than tripled to 3,044.
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