Ford Brand Sales Pass 2 Million Mark

Fiesta and Focus Could Notch 20% Sales Rise in 2011

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Ford Motor Co.said its namesake brand exceeded 2 million U.S. sales for the first year since 2007, led by gains for models such as the Fiesta and the revamped Explorer sport-utility vehicle.

Smaller cars, such as the Fiesta and Focus, are on pace for a sales increase of more than 20% this year, while light trucks that include the Explorer, Escape SUV and F-150 pickup may rise at least 30%, the company said today in a statement.

Ford , the second-largest U.S. automaker, is benefiting from an auto market that rose 10% through November from the year earlier. The company also got a boost from vehicles such as the Fiesta and the Explorer. Sales of the Fiesta, which launched in the U.S. in June 2010, more than tripled year through last month. Sales of the Explorer have more than doubled in the period.

"The industry sales rate has exceeded 13 million in each of the last three months," Ken Czubay, Ford 's VP-U.S. sales and marketing, said in the statement. "This suggests the current momentum is not an aberration."

Ford -brand sales gained 18% through November, to 1.86 million, compared with 1.76 million for all of 2010. Ford 's total U.S. sales through November were up 11%.

The automaker reported net income of $6.6 billion in the first nine months of 2011. Ford gained consumer consideration as it managed to avoid the bankruptcies that befell its U.S. rivals in 2009. The company borrowed $23.4 billion in late 2006, before credit markets froze, giving it the cash to weather the recession and invest in new models.

--Bloomberg News

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