COLOGNE, Germany ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) is outpacing a declining auto market in Europe. The Detroit automaker said its first-quarter sales in the traditional 19 European markets fell 7.3%, while industry sales fell by 8.1%. This enabled Ford, the No. 2 player in the market, to increase its market share by 0.1 points to 8.5%. Its sales totaled 324,400 vehicles during the quarter.
"Ford turned in a solid first quarter performance in what remains a challenging time for the entire auto industry in Europe," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe, in a prepared statement. He said Ford benefited from solid demand for the new Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost. In the U.K. and Germany, its two top markets, Ford posted first-quarter market share declines. Its U.K. share fell 0.4 points to 15.3%, while its share in Germany fell by 0.2% points to 7.4%. But Ford gained share in seven of the 19 traditional markets including France, Poland and Spain. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc.