Ford Sales Rise 5 Percent In March 2012, Driven By Focus, Lincoln MKS

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Ford Motor Company's upward march in sales numbers continued last month: the Dearborn automaker posted a 5.0 percent increase over last year, selling 223,418 cars, trucks, and utilities. It was also a month of bests for the company: not only did Ford Motor Company post its best March in five years, its midsize Fusion had its best month ever. We've rounded up Ford's hottest (and coldest) selling models below. The Hot List Ford Focus: The compact sedan and hatchback surged 64.7 percent last month, selling 28,293 units in March. That was nearly enough to pass the midsize Fusion to become the second-best-selling Ford model, behind the F-Series pickup range. Ford Taurus: Spurred by its recent facelift and engineering tweaks, the Taurus jumped 19.2 percent in sales compared to last year, selling 7095 units. Ford Flex: The Flex has always been somewhat of a slow seller, but its recent facelift and minor changes may have helped buoy it last month. Ford sold 3330 Flexes last month, up 34.9 percent from March 2011, and enough to pass the Expedition to be the second-best-selling seven-passenger Ford, behind the Explorer. Lincoln MKS: Lincoln's large sedan jumped 59.3 percent this year, closing the month of March with 1689 sales. The model is up 47.5 percent so far this year, an encouraging number for an otherwise low-volume luxury sedan. Lincoln MKT: Lincoln's seven-passenger luxury crossover sold 785 units last month; while it's not much, it is a whole 72.5 percent more than March 2011, and we expect demand for this car to rise as the MKT becomes the de facto Lincoln Town Car for hired cars and limousines. The luxo-truck is also up 18.1 percent so far this year, though it should be noted the year-to-date volume is a mere 1485. Not So Hot Ford Fiesta: Gas prices might be forcing car buyers into looking at smaller cars, but while the Focus enjoyed a massive sales bump last month, the Fiesta slumped in March. It dropped 33.6 percent to 6502 sales, and is down 23.6 percent so far this year. Ford Escape: The Ford Escape has been enjoying record months of late, but sales dipped 5.4 percent to 22,679 units last month. We can blame this in part on excitement about the new Ford Escape, which will hit dealers later this year. Ford Expedition: Ford's seven-passenger barge-in-charge sold just 3022 units last month, down 17 percent from the year before. While both the Flex and Explorer have had a good year so far, the Expedition isn't winning many fans as seven-passenger vehicle buyers flock to more economical vehicles. Ford Ranger: The Ranger's months of record sales leading up to its discontinuation are over. Ford sold 4404 Rangers last month, down 24.5 percent from last year, and that number is quickly on its way to zero as dealers work their way through the last of their inventories. Lincoln Navigator: The Lincoln Navigator fared just a little bit better than its Ford Expedition sibling, but the luxury SUV slid 13.2 percent in March, ending the month with just 644 sales. Just like with the Expedition, it would seem that buyers are looking for seven-passenger vehicles with more economy, and the Navigator is now outsold by the MKT. Lincoln MKZ: The MKZ has good news and bad news: the good news is that the 2013 Lincoln MKZ was just unveiled at the New York Auto Show, but the bad news is that the model sold 2932 units last month, down 6.6 percent from March 2011. It's a negative month in a positive year for the MKZ, which is up 9.2 percent year-to-date and should show promise as the months go on. Source: Ford Motor Company

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