Finally, some good news for Ford Motor Company. U.S. customers purchased or leased 418,243 cars and trucks from Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover dealers in October, soaring 34.4 percent higher than a year ago, and setting a new October sales record. The previous record (375,797) was set in 1977.

Ford F-Series, America's best-selling truck since 1977, achieved an all-time truck sales record for any month as October sales reached the unimaginable total of 102,424. The F-Series set the previous record (91,481) in June 2001. F-Series sales were 51.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Ford, America's best-selling brand of cars and trucks for 16 years in a row, set a new October sales record (348,577) as sales climbed 35.8 percent.

In addition to F-Series' record-setting performance, Ford dealers reported any-month record sales for the Ford Focus (33,439) and the Ford Escape (24,402) and an October sales record for the Ford Explorer (44,640). Explorer sales were 45.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Ford Mustang, America's legendary pony car, achieved a 92.4 percent sales increase. In addition, Ford dealers delivered 1,315 Ford Thunderbirds to U.S. customers in October.

Mercury dealers reported October sales of 37,519, up 60.3 percent compared with a year ago. Mercury Mountaineer (4,674) set a new October sales record as sales climbed 33.9 percent. Sales for the Mercury Grand Marquis surged 106.3 percent, Mercury Cougar sales rose 44.0 percent, Mercury Sable was up 36.7 percent, and Mercury Villager sales were 75.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Lincoln dealers reported October sales of 15,302, up 4.2 percent compared with a year ago. Lincoln LS set an October sales record (3,976). The Lincoln Blackwood, an all-new sport utility truck will debut in November.

Jaguar's October sales soared 31.3 percent compared with a year ago and set a new sales record for the month (4,126). The all-new Jaguar X-TYPE achieved its best sales month so far as October sales rose 51.0 percent from September.

Volvo's October U.S. sales (10,455) were the second highest in history led by strong sales of the V70 XC sport wagon and the S60 mid-size sedan (which now offers an all-wheel drive model). Land Rover October sales (2,264) also were the second highest in history.

Reversing the low sales numbers from September, Ford's New York Region dealers also reported record car and truck sales during October. Ford Division's regional sales manager presented an award yesterday to Oasis Ford, which sold the most trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans in the region during the month.

"With all that the people of the New York area have endured during the last six weeks, we thought it was important to celebrate the fact that families are feeling confident enough to buy vans and sport-utility vehicles, that companies are buying work trucks, and that Ford dealers are helping in the auto industry's pledge to help keep the economy moving," said Robert Smythe, Ford Division New York Regional Sales Manager.

The industry's booming new-vehicle sales are largely a result of 0.0 percent financing programs. Ford Division has extended its program for most models through November 20.

Mr. Smythe presented Irving Rosen, the owner of Oasis Ford, with a trophy and award for selling the highest number of trucks (including vans and sport- utility vehicles) during October. The dealership -_ the region's highest- volume dealership for the last seven years -_ almost doubled their typical monthly sales in October.

In keeping with the light-hearted spirit, Ford piled Rosen's desk with truck models _- one representing each truck his dealership sold during the month. The toys will be donated to Toys for Tots, which distributes toys to needy children during the holidays.

Irving Rosen started in the auto business as a 20-year-old, selling dealership supplies from his car trunk. He taught himself the used-car business, and in 1962 he became a used-car dealer. In 1982, he became a Ford dealer and subsequently added other new-car franchises.

Today, he owns and operates the dealership with his three children, David, Robin and Ron, and partner Bret Golkin.

Mr. Rosen and Oasis Ford have received numerous awards, including the prestigious Ford President's Award, and the dealership is a Blue Oval dealership, meaning it meets high standards for customer satisfaction. He is also past president and chairman of the regional Ford dealer association.