FordFord Motor (F) reported higher sales in September on strong demand for fresh models, as sales rose 46% compared to September 2009, the company said Friday.

Ford credited strong gains in sales of utility vehicles, which include the growing crossover segment. Utility vehicle sales jumped 60%, while demand for Ford's popular F-Series line of pickup trucks advanced 40%, the company said.

"The key to our success in the U.S. market is the relentless cadence of new vehicle, powertrain and technology introductions," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. sales, in a statement.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales in September totaled 160,873, Ford said, noting that its share of the U.S. market increased for 23rd time in nearly as many months. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker is on track to gain market share for the second year in a row -- a result not achieved since 1993, it said.

General Motors and Ford were the first automakers to report September sales Friday. Results from Chrysler Group, Toyota Motor (TM) and others are due later in the day. Ford's year-over-year sales gain exceed analyst expectations of a 38% sales gain, while GM's 10.5% rise was in-line with estimates.

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