Ford April 2013 US Sales: Up 18 Percent Led By Continued Strong Demand For The Fusion Sedan And Escape SUV

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Ford Fusion 2012
The Ford Fusion, pictured, and Escape both saw record April sales performances.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said Wednesday it sold 212,584 vehicles in April, an 18 percent increase from a year ago with significant increases in cars, SUVs and trucks. The company beat the estimates by major auto market intelligence providers.

“We are working harder than ever to keep pace with record demand for our all-new, fuel-efficient Fusion and Escape -- with sales growth particularly strong on the coasts,” said Ken Czubay, head of U.S. sales, marketing and service for the Dearborn, Mich., company.

The Fusion and Escape both saw record April sales performances, and 24 percent more of the ever-popular F-Series pickup trucks rolled out of dealer lots last month, rising along with a recovering housing market.

Taurus sedan sales declined nearly 12 percent, while the Flex crossover, which never really caught on with consumers since its 2008 introduction, saw a nearly 34 percent fall in sales. The Ford Expedition full-size SUV also saw sales down last month by 16.5 percent.

The average transaction price -- that’s now much buyers are spending on average for Ford vehicles -- was up a whopping 4.6 percent from April 2012 and down a slight 0.4 percent from March 2013. Higher transaction prices mean consumers are likely upgrading to fancier models with wider profit margins.

Ford said sales rose in all three vehicle types -- cars, truck and SUVs. One exception was the Lincoln luxury SUV category. The Lincoln MKT and MKX both saw declines that dragged down the Lincoln luxury SUV category; only the Navigator saw a rise, but on very small volume of 680 units.

Ford beat Wall Street’s Q1 estimates in its earnings report released last week, clocking $1.6 billion in net income, or 15 percent higher than in Q1 of last year. The company reported earnings per share of 40 cents, above the average estimate of 37 cents and higher than the 35 cents reported last year in Q1.

Global sales increased 10 percent to nearly 1.5 million units. In North America, the company sold 25 percent more Fusion sedans and Escape SUVs. The rebounding U.S. housing sector has been helping boost the sale of the F-Series pickup truck, the No. 1 selling vehicle in the U.S.

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