DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. cut its North American vehicle production for the second time this year on Tuesday, after failing to get much of a boost from the U.S. auto industry's traditional spring selling season.
The world's second-largest automaker said its U.S. sales fell a wafer-thin 0.7 percent in May despite heavy consumer incentives to offset the sluggish U.S. economy.
The decline came against the backdrop of a relatively easy comparison with May last year, when Ford's sales fell more than 11 percent. The result includes sales of Ford's foreign brands -- Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover -- and heavy trucks, and was not adjusted for changes in the number of selling days in May.
Faced with bloated vehicle inventories, Ford, which cut its second-quarter North American output, said it was now estimating a cut of nearly 15 percent in its third-quarter production.
Production directly drives the profits of U.S. automakers but Ford has not revised what many analysts see as its already conservative earnings estimate for the year.