Ford Keeps Gaining Speed With October's 19% Sales Jump

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Ford Motor's October salesFord Motor (F) reported higher sales in October, up 19% to nearly 158,000 vehicles for the month, as consumers continued to respond positively to company's revamped lineup of cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

Ford said car sales for the month were up 20%, while those of utility vehicles climbed 9% and trucks rose 25%. So far this year, the company said sales across its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury divisions have risen 21% to 1.6 million units, putting Ford on track to gain market share for the second year in a row -- a result it hasn't achieved since 1993.

"Increasingly, consumers are choosing Ford," Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. sales, said in a statement. "Ford's broad range of high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles offer buyers value that endures for the life of the purchase and when they trade their vehicle."

Better Buzz Is Boosting Sales

The namesake Ford division reported the largest sales increase -- 20.6% -- compared to year ago, for a total 143,624 vehicles. The soon-to-be discontinued Mercury division saw a 12% rise to 7,477 vehicles, while the luxury Lincoln brand sold 6,834 units, a modest 1.5% gain. In total, Ford sold 157,935 vehicles last month.

The Dearborn, Mich., automaker's image and sales been helped by a number of awards from the automotive press and groups that track quality such as J.D. Power and Associates, which recently ranked Ford fifth among all brands in the U.S. market.

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October marked the introduction of several new models in the 2011 lineup that helped to boost sales. They included the refreshed Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX midsize utility vehicles. Compared to year-ago levels, sales of the Edge rose 24%, but MKX sales were flat.

In coming months, Ford plans to introduce a revised Ford Explorer SUV as well as a new Focus compact. Earlier this year, Ford unveiled the Fiesta subcompact, which recorded its best month so far in October, with sales of 3,846 units.

Ford released its sales figures shortly after those of rival General Motors, which reported an overall rise in sales of 3.5% in October. Other automakers, including Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) will release figures later Wednesday. Several other foreign carmakers reported October sales figures on Nov. 2.

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