Locally made Ford vehicles posted huge sales gains last month despite fears that the government shutdown would spook car-buyers away from dealership lots.
All five of the models made at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch saw year-over-year sales increases in October, and four of them notched double-digit gains, according to Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co.
Sales of the increasingly popular Police Interceptor sport utility vehicle soared by 149.9 percent over last October, while the more traditional Police Interceptor sedan increased by 11.4 percent.
Gains were broad-based, and vehicles sales were up across the board, said Erich Merkle, a Ford sales analyst.
"We had gains coming from across all our vehicle segments, so if we take a look at cars, we were up 19 percent, utilities were up 9 percent and trucks were up 14 percent," he said. "So it was a very nice balanced approach to the month."
Lincoln MKS sales jumped by 31.5 in October, as compared to 2012. Sales of the Ford Taurus rose to 5,032 in October compared to 3,996 last year, a 25.9 increase. Both of those vehicles are made in Chicago.
The Ford Explorer – the best-selling vehicle made at the plant by volume – recorded an increase of 0.3 percent. Sales of the fifth-generation Explorer model, which was first rolled out in 2011, reached a new record for the month of October and are up 10 percent year to date, Ford spokeswoman Kristin Maynard said.
Overall, Ford achieved its best October retail sales in the United States since 2004. Total sales reached 142,487, a year-over-year increase of 15 percent.
"October was simply an outstanding retail performance, as consumers continued to choose Ford for great fuel efficiency, styling and value at all levels of the market," said John Felice, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and services.
Ford's plant at 126th Street and Torrance Avenue currently employs about 4,200 workers. The automaker also operates a stamping plant in nearby Chicago Heights.