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Territory Assists Ford To Passenger Leadership

Award-Winning Territory Assists Ford To Passenger Leadership In February

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 7 March 2006

For the second consecutive year, the Ford Territory Ghia has been awarded the AA Motoring Excellence Supreme Award as the Motor Company edged out rivals to be the most popular passenger vehicle brand in February.

Sales of 156 Territories and 332 Falcons helped Ford achieve 14.2% of the passenger vehicle market in February and once again Territory was the most popular SUV in the market.

"We were delighted to receive this recognition from the AA Motoring Excellence judges – they tested 77 cars over 11,000 kilometres and it is a tribute to the teams at Ford in New Zealand and in Australia that the Territory was awarded the best Crossover car, and the Supreme award for the best car on New Zealand's roads," said Mr. Richard Matheson, Managing Director of Ford New Zealand.

"Kiwi drivers continue to fall in love with the car-like handling and off-capabilities of the Territory – once again it was the #1 selling SUV in the market," continued Mr. Matheson.
"The judges said this car was not only the best in class, but the truest to its designer's intentions. It provides the perfect vehicle for the go-anywhere family. Its ride on-road was better than that of many of the conventional cars, and its stability and turning ability in slippery or low-grip situations was superior to anything in its class," said Mr. Matheson.
"Focus was another excellent contributor for Ford in February - with 148 sales, it increased its market share 5.4 percentage points year-on-year to 9.9% in a fiercely competitive segment."

"Its German handling and European styling is being appreciated by customers and journalists alike - it was recently awarded the 2006 Medium Car of the Year by New Zealand Driver magazine."

"While we were 2 percentage points down on last year's February market share, we still achieved our programmed target sales in a strong industry that is now 4.5% ahead of the same period last year," concluded Mr. Matheson.

Ford finished second in overall passenger sales in February.

ENDS

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