Ford of Europe hopes that new scrapping incentives in the United Kingdom will help end the automaker's sales slump in its No. 1 European market and turn around its weak overall sales in the region.
Similar subsidies increased Ford's April sales by 19 percent or more in Germany and Italy.
"Our improving trend makes me cautiously optimistic that our sales will be enhanced further once the newly announced scrappage initiative in the U.K. gets fully under way in the coming months," Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe's head of sales and marketing, said in a statement.
Ford's sales in the United Kingdom fell 12.9 percent to 28,300 in April. In the first four months, the automaker's sales there are down 23.3 percent to 125,800 vehicles.
Ford expects help from the United Kingdom's scrapping program, which starts this month. It offers a discount of £2,000 (about $3,000) on a new car when the trade-in is more than 10 years old.
In Germany, people who scrap cars that are at least nine years old and replace them with new vehicles get a bonus of 2,500 euros, or about $3,400 at current exchange rates.
The German subsidy helped increase Ford's April sales 19.6 percent to 27,700 units. Overall, the German market was up 19.4 percent last month to nearly 380,000.
Thanks in part to a scrapping subsidy of up to 5,000 euros (about $6,800), Ford's April sales in Italy were up 28.7 percent to 20,800 units.
Despite gains in those key markets, Ford's overall April sales in Europe were down 7.4 percent to 120,000. Its four-month results were off 14.4 percent to 471,700, the company said.
Many customers in countries with scrappage incentives are trading in old, large models for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. This trend has helped Ford's recently launched new-generation subcompact.
Said Sviggum: "More customers are changing to Ford because of our extremely strong product portfolio, including the new Fiesta."
Through four months, Ford has sold 43,000 Fiestas in Europe.