U.S. Auto Sales: Ford sales up 16% in December; 2011 volume up 17% image

Ford Motor Co., on Wednesday said Ford brand 2011 U.S. sales increased 17 percent, totaling 2,062,915 vehicles, sealing the brand’s first three-point market share gain over three consecutive years since 1970.

Ford was the second automaker to report sales on Wednesday.

The U.S. based automaker said total Ford Motor Company sales for the year increased to 2,148,806 vehicles, up 11 percent for the year.

“The year finished on a high note, with industry sales momentum strengthening as the year came to a close,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

“We saw Ford sales strengthen as well, posting our best December retail sales month since 2005 and closing the year as America’s best-selling brand.”

According to the report, Ford’s small car sales were up 25 percent in 2011 with 244,291 cars sold. Fusion had a record year with 248,067 vehicles sold, while Ford’s utility sales totaled 579,626 vehicles for the entire 2011, up 31 percent, making it the best-selling utility brand in the United States.

By model, Explorer was the best-seller in 2011 (135,704 units sold / + 124 percent). The blue oval has sold 584,917 F-Series trucks.

December’s annualized sales rate is expected to top 13 million vehicles for the fourth straight month as the steady growth of sales continues to belie uncertainty about the overall economy, said J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive.