China isn’t the only one beating U.S. when it comes to car sales and car production Europe is on its way to do the same. While slowing U.S. sales has hit Ford, its French rival Renault is doing better than ever by reporting a strong performance in Europe, suggesting the European market stays great. US car sales are expected to fall this year from 2016’s record levels, while Europe’s are forecast to rise slightly, in spite of near-record sales last year. Ford announced first-quarter earnings sharply down on the year, with pre-tax profit falling $1.5bn to $2bn in its automotive segment, in results that underlined investor concerns about a cyclical downturn in the US auto industry. Ford’s US sales fell 5 per cent to 771,000 vehicles, although global profits were also hit by a host of other factors including higher warranty costs, recall costs, unfavourable exchange rates, higher commodity costs and investments in new technologies, the company said.