Ford Motor said January sales rose 7.3 per cent to 136,710 vehicles, slightly below estimates for a 7.9 per cent gain.
Overall, utilities contributed the greatest part to Ford’s growth, up 12.2 per cent, while small car sales increased 2.4 per cent.
Focus sales surged nearly 60 per cent to 14,000 units, its best performance since 2003.
“January started off with solid sales versus year-ago levels,” Ford Vice President Ken Czubay said. “Ford saw the same solid month, with smaller vehicles in higher demand. Escape continued its record-setting run, and Focus set the pace for car sales in California, Texas and the Southeast.”
Shares were up more than 1 per cent on the news, but have since retreated.
Earlier today fellow Detroit automaker, Chrysler, announced sales grew 44 per cent, far outpacing the 32 per cent increase forecast and its best January in four years.