Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales rose 13 percent last month, its best June performance since 2006. Six-month sales also advanced 13 percent.
Ford sold 227,448 Ford-brand vehicles in June and 1,251,448 in the first half of 2013, up 14 percent for both time periods. Lincoln sales were off 1 percent from last June at 7,469, and down 9 percent for the first half, at 38,288.
Ford dealers sold 35,851 small cars, including the Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX -- a gain of 39 percent over June 2012 year, and the largest volume of small cars the company has sold in June since 2000.
Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said the company's largest market for small cars is Los Angeles, where sales were up 39 percent. He added that San Francisco is its fastest growing retail market for small cars, up 48 percent, followed by Seattle, where retail sales are up 41 percent.
The Escape continues to have a major impact on Ford's share gains. Ford sold 28,694 Escapes in June, up 1 percent from a year ago. It was the fifth monthly record for the Escape this year. On both coasts, Czubay said, the Escape's retail share has increased more than 2 percentage points this year.
Ford says strong demand for the Escape, Fusion, and small cars also is driving the company's market share up in the West and Southeast. Ford said its incentive spending was mostly in line with the overall industry this past month, up $100 from last June and down almost $100 from May.
With demand high for pickups, F-series sales increased 24 percent to 68,009. The F series has posted higher sales every month for the past 23 months, and June's results were the best for the month since 2005.
With sales of 3,180 units, the Lincoln MKZ sedan had its best-ever June sales. Second-quarter sales of the sedan were a record 10,682. It was the first time MKZ sales exceeded 10,000, according to Ford.
"In June, we continued to see strong demand across the entire lineup," Czubay said. "We're particularly encouraged by strong retail share gains, especially in coastal markets."
He said many of the gains are stemming from customers buying a Ford for the first time.
Czubay said a strong housing market and the age of the U.S. pickup fleet have been a catalyst for strong truck sales. He said there are over 4 million pickups on the road that are over 12 years old, with more than half over 11 years old.
When asked today whether the all-new 2014 F-150 Tremor sport truck could replace the discontinued Ranger mid-sized pickup, Czubay seemed doubtful, calling it a "specialty" vehicle.
"I think it's for a different consumer," Czubay said.
JP Morgan's Ryan Brinkman said he sees strong profit implications for Ford as a result of the strong increase in truck sales, despite the discontinuation of the Ranger.