Following a collective 10.7 percent year-over-year sales decline in August, Ford's three American brands all posted sales increases for September, resulting in a 46 percent overall gain.

The Ford brand itself posted a 49.3 percent increase, thanks to higher, sustained sales of its mainstream sedans, sport-utility vehicles, and trucks. The 2010 Focus, Fusion, Taurus, and Mustang all posted double-digit increases, bolstered by the 2011 Edge, which soared by 186 percent over September 2009. It was a similar story at Lincoln, in which the 2011 MKX sold 72 percent better than it did one year ago. Overall, Ford's 49.3 increase was supplemented by a 25.6 overall increase by Lincoln and a 15.9 increase by Mercury -- an impressive showing for a brand soon to be killed off. By category, those percentages represent sales increases in each major vehicle category: cars (40.4 percent), trucks (42.8 percent), and SUVs (61 percent). Sales of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs were both up by 65 percent, and the Escape set a monthly sales record at 14,313 units sold.

The few sales losses among the three brands mainly concerned badge-engineered, shared models. In one example, Ford's Expedition SUV posted a 23 percent sales gain, while the mechanically similar Lincoln Navigator posted a 12.6 percent loss. In another, the Ford Crown Victoria sedan, which Ford will soon supplant with the existing Taurus, witnessed a 12.3 percent increase, while the Mercury Grand Marquis was down by 7.5 percent.