(By Balaseshan) Automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) reported a 6.5% increase in November U.S. sales, due to higher demand for fuel-efficient vehicles as well as strong demand for vehicles like Focus, Mustang, Explorer F-Series, and Heavy Trucks.
Total vehicles for the month of November increased to 177,673 units from 166,865 units. Sales from Ford brand grew 7.1% to 171,941 vehicles, while Lincoln sales fell 9.1% to 5,732 vehicles.
Ford said U.S. retail sales grew 12% in November versus year-ago levels, driven by strong retail customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
"We saw sharp increases in demand for Ford's fuel-efficient small cars, our best-ever month for electrified vehicles and growing demand for our fuel-efficient and capable F-Series pickups," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
Type-wise, Ford cars sales jumped 18.4% to 53,249 units, with Focus and Mustang showing huge growth in sales despite a 77% drop in Crown Victoria sales and a 24% fall in Fusion sales.
Ford U.S. November small car sales total 26,848 vehicles, a 76% jump from last year and the company's strongest November small car sales in 12 years. C-MAX Hybrids sales gain momentum with 4,848 vehicles in November, a 52% increase compared with October.
Focus sales were up 56% versus year-ago levels, while the all-new C-MAX Hybrid lineup gained 52% versus October, when the C-MAX Energi went on sale.
Ford utilities sales rose 1.4% to 50,531 units, with Explorer and Edge showing growth in sales, despite a 23.8% decline in Flex sales and a 14% decrease in Expedition sales.
Trucks sales increased 3.7% to 68,161 units. The country's top-selling pickup vehicle for 30 years, the Ford F-Series posted its 16th straight month of sales increases, with 56,299 F-Series sold in November.
Ford also announced its 2013 first-quarter North American production plan. The company intends to build 750,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 11% (73,000 vehicles) from last year. Fourth quarter production of 725,000 vehicles is unchanged from previous guidance.
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) posted a 3.4% increase in U.S. sales for the month of November, its highest sales for the month since 2007 amid strong car and crossover sales. The Detroit, Michigan-based auto giant reported sales of 186,505 vehicles in the United States last month.
F is trading up 1.14% at $11.58 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $8.82 and $13.05 for the past 52 weeks.