Ford Stays Optimistic as Other Automakers' U.S. Sales Underwhelm

(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. has a decidedly glass-half-full view of the U.S. auto market, despite a month in which demand disappointed for most major car companies.

The second-largest U.S. automaker posted a surprise gain of 4.1 percent last month, beating analysts’ average estimate for a decline of 0.8 percent. Americans bought almost 82,000 F-Series pickups for the best August showing in 13 years.

“In terms of the overall market, the underlying factors that we want to be positive are positive,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s U.S. sales chief, said on a conference call. “Fuel prices are still relatively low, interest rates -- while rising -- are relatively low, consumer confidence is high, economic activity is really strong. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic.”

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