DETROIT -- Replacement demand from Hurricane Harvey helped an already-strong September for Ford Motor Co. as the automaker snapped a three-month sales skid.
Ford's sales last month rose 8.9 percent behind strong sales of its F-150 pickups. The automaker's retail sales rose 4.4 percent, while fleet sales jumped 25 percent.
Ford's pickup/van sales jumped 21 percent and CUV/SUV sales rose 1.8 percent, while car sales fell 1.3 percent. Sales of Ford's Lincoln luxury brand rose 0.1 percent.
"Our September sales were strong across the board -- including retail, commercial and government," Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service said in a statement. "We're pleased to say recovery in Houston and Florida is moving quickly, with all of our dealers in the area now back up."
LaNeve said Ford's sales rose about 18,000 vehicles year-over-year and less than a third of that was related to effects of Harvey and Irma.
"Outside of the Harvey effect, the business was strong," LaNeve said.
Ford's incentive spending rose $75 year-over-year, less than the industrywide increase of $110 per vehicle. The automaker's average transaction prices rose $540, compared with the overall industry's ATPs rising $200 per vehicle.
Ford's sales increase was paced by its pickup sales. Last month marked the third September that F-series sales topped 80,000 units. F-150 incentives fell $430, LaNeve said.
The Transit van also posted its best September sales figures since it was introduced in 2014, up 25 percent.
Every Ford SUV nameplate besides the Expedition posted sales gains.
Ford's gross inventory at the end of September was at 619,191, or a 72 days supply of vehicles. LaNeve said Ford is comfortable with that number and the automaker will likely get "more production over the next six month period, not less," despite announcing added downtime at five North American plants last month.
"Our inventory's been very balanced all year," he said. We feel good about our position."