Ford Motor Company is developing a range of small cars to succeed its Ka model in Europe, according to Bernard Mattes, deputy chairman of the auto giant’s German subsidiary Ford-Werke.

However, the new marque will not hit the roads any time soon. Launched in 1996, the Ka, said Mattes, is “fresh” enough to stay on the market for now and will be produced until “at least 2004”.

Mattes added that he was satisfied with Ford’s performance in Europe. In the five months to May, Ford bucked the overall 4% year-on-year drop in car sales to 1.46 million by registering a 16% rise in unit sales to 126,000, an increase attributed to the youth of its model range.

However, warned Mattes, Ford’s 2001 target of 300,000 European unit sales may still be jeopardised by the slowdown in the market.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)