If you've been following our monthly SUV sales reports, it should come as no surprise that the Ford Escape is one hot commodity. It has been virtually neck and neck with the Honda CR-V for most of the past 12 months, but indications are that it could pull ahead of Honda's compact SUV when the final tally is counted for 2013.

The Ford Escape is the first small utility to break the 150,000 unit mark in six months. The Escape had a record-setting 2012 with sales of 261,008, a record that looks like it will be handily surpassed by the end of 2013. Demand has been so strong for the vehicle, that Ford's Louisville, Kentucky, assembly plant has been running a third shift, and added 1300 workers, essentially cranking out Escapes around the clock. Since Louisville is the exclusive source of Escapes in North America, it holds the distinction of having built the most vehicles of any Ford plant in the first half of 2013.

Just as important as overall sales volume is the Escape's conquest rate, with more than 50 percent of customers coming from competing brands such as Honda and Toyota in key markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Seattle.

Source: Ford