DETROIT -- Declaring that replacement demand will carry the industry's strong momentum into 2012, Ford Motor Co. said today it will increase North American production in the first quarter of 2012 to 675,000 units, up 3 percent from the year-earlier period.
Ford also raised its production forecast for the fourth quarter of 2011 to 674,000 units, an increase of 14,000 from its previous forecast.
"The industry sales rate has exceeded 13 million in each of the last three months," Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement. "This suggests the current momentum is not an aberration. We believe replacement demand will continue to support stronger levels in 2012."
The production hike follows a 13 percent sales gain for the automaker in November, to 166,441 units. In the first 11 months of the year, Ford's sales rose 9 percent to 1,933,654.