DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co U.S. officials said on Thursday that 2017 U.S. auto sales will be weaker than this year's results as pent-up demand that was strong after the 2008-2009 recession has faded.

Ford also said 2016 sales will not top last year's record high. Bryan Bezold, Ford's U.S. economist, said that in the years following the recession the auto market recovery was stronger than the overall economy, largely due to the pent-up demand.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)