Ford says US sales rise 9 percent in September

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Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales rose 9 percent in September, spurred by sales of SUVs and pickups.

Sales of the Ford Explorer SUV were more than triple last September, while sales of the Escape small SUV rose 41 percent. Ford’s pickup sales rose 15 percent.

Demand for trucks and SUVs typically rises in the fall as buyers get ready for winter. They’re also more heavily advertised during football season. And gas prices have moderated since the spring, which is helping demand.

General Motors, Chrysler and Nissan also reported big increases for trucks and SUVs.

Ford’s car sales fell 8 percent, largely because of slowdowns in sales of the Focus small car and Taurus big sedan. Ford has had trouble meeting demand for the Focus for several months.