Ford US auto sales up 14 pct in February image

Ford Motor Company, on Thursday posted a 14 percent increase in February U.S. sales versus year-ago levels, with 179,119 vehicles sold.

“Sales momentum built as February unfolded, with higher fuel prices driving consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles in the second half of the month,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, in a statement.

Focus sales more than doubled over last February to 23,350. It was the best February for the Focus in 12 years.

America’s top-selling vehicle for 30 years, the Ford F-Series posted a 26 percent increase, totaling 47,273 pickups.

Shares rose 2.4% to $12.68 in recent trading as the automaker also said it plans to build 730,000 vehicles in the second quarter, up 3% from a year earlier.