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Ford-brand auto sales pass 2 million for first time since 2007

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Sales of Ford-brand autos zipped past the 2-million mark for the first time since 2007, Ford Motor Co. said Friday.

With strong year-over-year gains recently from models such as the Ranger, the Explorer and the Escape, Ford’s namesake brand is set to finish 2011 in prerecession style.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker, the second-largest in the U.S., said that sales of small Ford-brand cars such as the Fiesta and Fusion are on track to finish up 20%. Light trucks may see a 30% gain.

Last month, 160,560 Ford-brand autos were sold –- a more-than-20% increase compared with the same month in 2010. As of the end of November, the company reported sales of more than 1.86 million Ford-brand vehicles.

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Recently, the automaker said its retail market share has averaged about 15% -- its highest in five years. Ford also owns the Lincoln and Mercury brands.

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