Ford Motor Co reported its best first-quarter profit in 13 years, driven by strong sales in its home market and demand for more fuel efficient vehicles.

Ford also said on Tuesday that last month's earthquake in Japan had minimal impact on its business.

Lewis Booth, Ford's chief financial officer, said that so far the automaker has lost about 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles of production in Asia, where it has shut several plants temporarily.

Ford beat expectations on Tuesday, which helped send the company's share up 3.5 percent to $16.09. Its fourth quarter 2010 results missed analyst expectations by a wide mark.

Any near-term production losses are likely to recover in late 2011 and into 2012. Production in Ford's business regions outside of Asia have not yet been changed.

Net income rose to $2.55 billion, or 61 cents a share, compared with $2.09 billion, or 50 cents a share, in the year earlier period. It was the highest first-quarter net income since 1998.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 62 cents a share, easily topping the 50 cents analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected. It was the seventh straight quarter of operating profit.

Revenue rose to $33.1 billion from $28.1 billion last year. Analysts had expected $29.7 billion.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman; Editing by Derek Caney)