Congratulations to Ford, which has beat Toyota for the fourth straight year as the best-selling vehicle brand in North America.
Ford reports its 2013 sales were up more than 15 percent, for a total of more than 2.4 million vehicles, beating Toyota by 396,401 sales and leases.
Much of that strength is from the F Series truck, which remains the best-selling truck in North America for 37 straight years. But Ford reports that its entire line-up did well, including what Ford calls "electrified vehicles" but the rest of us call plug-in hybrids or extended range hybrids.
Ford brand hybrid vehicle sales are expected to exceed 80,000 vehicles this year - that's nearly triple the total in 2012, making 2013 the company's best-ever hybrid vehicle sales year. The all-new Ford C-MAX hybrid lineup is drawing nearly half of its customers from import brands.
The C-MAX hybrid is one of a growing list of Ford's green cars - the ones which get 40 MPG or better, saving us the green in our wallets at the gas station.
Ford passenger car retail sales will surpass 600,000 vehicles -- that's the highest volume in more than a dozen years, and a strong signal that the US economy is on an upswing.
Ford brand retail sales are up 15 percent through November of this year, compared to 12 percent for the brand overall. The strongest retail sales growth is from the western and southeastern regions of the country, which have been dominated by imports from Japan. Ford retail sales are up 23 percent in the West, while Southeast region sales are up 18 percent.
Besides the F-Series truck, other Ford models set 2013 sales records, too, including both Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion.
Ford Fiesta set a new sales record with a projected 70,000-plus vehicles sold, while Ford Fusion had its best year ever, with sales expected to exceed 290,000 vehicles.
Ford is the best-selling utility brand for the third straight year, outselling the second-place brand by more than 30 percent. Sales of Ford utility vehicles are up 10.3 percent, to 621,652 units.
Ford Escape leads this increase with a projected sales figure of more than 300,000 units -- its best-ever year since launching in 1999.
Ford Explorer is up about 15 percent, and is expected to be the best-selling midsize utility vehicle in the United States for 2013. This will be the best year for Ford utility vehicle sales since 2004.
An improved U.S. economy and an increase in home construction starts have helped boost Ford F-Series pickup to another sales crown as the nation's best-selling truck for 37 straight years. With 688,810 sales through November, F-Series will be the number one overall best-selling vehicle in America for the 32nd year.
Not all vehicle models are doing as well as those from Ford. Read which 2013 car and truck models are not returning in 2014.
Read these other Green Car Examiner articles on winning Ford models:
- Ford Focus Electric wins top safety rating
- 2014 Ford Fiesta 41 MPG rating is best in class
- Ford C-MAX hybrids outsell Toyota Prius hybrids
Always drive safely, and follow Green Car Examiner Evelyn Kanter