(By Balaseshan) Automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) reported a 1.9% increase in December U.S. sales due to higher demand for fuel-efficient vehicles as well as strong demand for vehicles like Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, Mustang, Explorer, and Heavy Trucks.
Total vehicles for the month of December increased to 214,222 units from 210,140 units. Sales from Ford brand grew 2.5% to 206,838 vehicles, while Lincoln sales fell 12.1% to 7,384 vehicles.
Type-wise, Ford cars sales jumped 22.8% to 67,828 units, with Focus and Fiesta showing huge growth in sales despite a 31.1% drop in Crown Victoria sales and a 10.8% fall in Fusion sales.
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Ford utilities sales declined 3.4% to 56,042 units for the month of December with Escape, Flex and Expedition showing decrease in sales, despite a 20.4% growth in Explorer sales and a 3% rise in Edge sales.
Trucks sales decreased 7.2% to 86,000 units for December with Ranger, E-Series and Transit Connect showing huge drop in sales, despite a 90.5% jump in Heavy Trucks sales and a 0.7% rise in F-Series sales.
Ford Motor's U.S. sales grew across the board in 2012, with cars up 5%, utilities up 7%, and trucks up 2% for the year. Overall, the Ford brand ended 2012 with 2.168 million vehicles sold – the only brand to top 2 million U.S. sales.
Ford said it delivered U.S. retail sales gains across its lineup in 2012 as more customers returned to dealer showrooms.
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"Ford's fuel-efficient cars and hybrid vehicles showed the most dramatic growth for the year, and we achieved our best year for commercial vehicle sales since 2008," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) posted a 5% increase in U.S. sales for the month of December. The Detroit, Michigan-based auto giant reported sales of 245,733 vehicles in the United States last month. Chevrolet sales were up 3.7% and GMC sales rose 3.7%, while sales of Buick and Cadillac increased 10% and 12.2%, respectively.
F is trading up 2.27% at $13.50 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $8.82 and $13.32 for the past 52 weeks.