Ford Market Share Climbs to 17%

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Surging Ford ( F) said February sales rose 43%, enabling a 3% boost in market share to 17%.

Ford's February retail sales were up 28%, compared with a 7% increase for the four retained General Motors brands, while fleet sales were up 74%.

Although down before the sales announcement, Ford stock was rising afterwards. Shortly after midday, shares were up 9 cents to $12.50.

Sales were higher throughout Ford's lineup. Year-to-date auto sales were up 54% over the same month a year earlier, utilities were up 39% and trucks were up 36%. Among brands, Ford sales were up 46%, Lincoln sales were up 19% and Mercury sales were up 24%. Ford brand cars were up 63%.

The automaker also said its sales rose 22% from January to February, and year-to-date sales were up 34%. Additionally, "the good news is we have even more new products and fuel-efficient powertrains coming this year, and we expect our progress to continue," said Ken Czubay, vice president for marketing, sales and service, in a prepared statement.

During the second quarter, Ford plans to produce 595,000 vehicles, up 144,000 vehicles or 32% from the same period a year earlier. First-quarter production is expected to total 570,000 vehicles.

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

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