By Michael Wayland – MLive
With a slight increase in sales last month, Ford Motor Co. today reported its best full-year U.S. sales since 2006.
The Dearborn-based automaker announced vehicle sales last month were up 2 percent to 218,058 and trucks sold – taking the company to nearly 2.5 million vehicles domestically sold in 2013, an 11 percent increase from 2012.
“We saw strong growth across the entire Ford lineup and made significant gains in the import-dominated coastal markets,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a statement. “Strong demand for our new cars, utilities, hybrids and trucks provided Ford with the largest share point gain of any full-line automaker in 2013.”
Ford brand U.S. retail sales are up 14 percent for the year to more than 2.4 million vehicles sold, while its Lincoln luxury brand closed out the year strong, but still down less than 1 percent compared to 2012.
Ford is the second Detroit automaker to release December sales. Earlier today, Chrysler Group LLC reported a 6 percent increase in sales compared to 2012 — marking 45-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. General Motors Co. and non-domestic automakers are expected to release December sales results later today.
Analysts expect last month’s sales to be up between 3-5 percent compared to December 2012 to about 1.42-1.46 million cars and trucks sold. December is projected to bring 2013 vehicle sales to above 15.6 million units, an 8 percent improvement from 2012.
“For consumers, this is generally the best time of year to purchase a new vehicle,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Dealers are trying to clear remaining 2013 model-year stock, which is 26 percent of current inventory, according to AutoTrader.com listings.”
As for 2014, some experts predict vehicle sales to top 16.3 million units.