05/01/2015 09:43 EDT | Updated 05/01/2016 05:12 EDT

Small and midsize SUVs push Ford sales up 5 per cent last month for best April in 9 years

DETROIT - Ford says its U.S. sales rose 5 per cent last month for its best April in nine years.

The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker sold more than 222,000 cars and trucks last month, led by small and midsize SUVs.

The revamped Ford Edge midsize SUV posted its best April sales ever at just over 13,000. That was a 78 per cent increase over a year ago.

Ford Escape small SUV sales were up nearly 5 per cent to almost 26,000.

Sales of the F-Series pickup, Ford's top-selling vehicle, fell 1 per cent as the company continued to ramp up production of a new model with an aluminum body.

Industry analysts expect total U.S. sales to rise about 6 per cent over April of last year when automakers report their numbers on Friday.