Ford Sales Rose 43% in March

Surging automaker Ford said it gained market share for the 17th time in 18 months.
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said its sales rose 43% in March, just as they did in February, as the automaker gained market share for the 17th time in 18 months.

The surging car company reported that retail sales rose 38%, while fleet sales rose 53%. Sales were higher throughout its lineup. Auto sales went up 53%, while trucks rose 30% and utility vehicles climbed 46%. Among its brands, Ford sales rose 46%, Mercury sales rose 26% and Lincoln sales went up 19%.

Leaders included the Ford Fusion, with a March sales gain of 79% to 22,773 vehicles, and the Mercury Milan, with a sales gain of 71%. Meanwhile, the F-Series pickup posted a 30% sales increase to 42,514 vehicles.

For the first quarter, sales totaled 428,596, up 37%. Ford estimated its first quarter market share at 16.5%, up more than 2.5 points from a year earlier.

At midday, Ford stock was trading at $12.87, up 30 cents a share.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.