- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DETROIT (AP) - Ford Motor Co. says its March sales in the U.S. fell 41 percent from a year earlier as low consumer confidence and job uncertainty continued to keep buyers away from showrooms.

The Dearborn-based automaker says it sold about 131,000 light vehicles, compared with about 222,000 in March 2008.

Other automakers plan to report their results later Wednesday.

Analysts expect the industry’s overall sales to show little improvement from February, even though Edmunds.com reports automakers’ average incentive spending hit a record high last month.

In an effort to boost sales, Ford announced its “Advantage Program” Monday. It will pay customers’ monthly payments _ up to $700 _ for a year if they lose their jobs.

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