Ford SUV sales pushed by Millennials and women buyers

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Ford said its SUVs recorded the best January-February sales numbers in the company’s history and, apparently, Millennials and women customers were the growth drivers.

Sales of Ford SUVs are off to their best year start ever, increasing at a double rate in the first two months of 2016 than the pace of the US SUV market, the Detroit-based automaker said. The company’s large high-riders reported 115,228 retail sales in January and February, up 16 percent over last year, while figures were up 28 percent over 2015 for the last month, fueled by double-digit percentage increases for all six SUV with the Blue Oval badge. Explorer sales in the United States rose 18 percent in February and 7 percent year-to-date, and it is the brand’s most popular SUV with millennial buyers ages 25 to 34 – according to Ford analysis of the most recent personal new vehicle registrations in the US from IHS Automotive. “It’s an example of need-based growth,” said Erich Merkle, Ford US sales analyst. “Millennials have begun forming families and those families are growing – in terms of the number of children as well as the size of those children.”

The trend mirrors that of millennials moving from urban areas and purchasing homes in the suburbs. According to National Association of Realtors, the median age of first-time homebuyers is 30 – the age when many people settle down and start to grow their families. At the same time, Explorer has become a hot seller with women, as the model is the most preferred midsize SUV among women buyers, according to IHS personal registration data.