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Ford executive predicts U.S. SUV boom will continue

NEW YORK, April 10 (Reuters) - A top Ford Motor Co executive said the second largest U.S. automaker predicts industry sales of U.S. sport utility vehicles will continue to rise as it plans to unveil a refreshed 2018 Ford Explorer SUV.

The market share of sport utilities has increased to nearly 40 percent from 32.6 percent of total U.S. vehicle sales in 2016. Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service Mark LaNeve told reporters at an event on Monday ahead of this week's auto show that the company expects that total to rise to 45 percent of industry sales within five to seven years. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler)