DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales rose 18 percent in April thanks to big demand for the recently redesigned Escape SUV.

Escape sales rose 52 percent to nearly 26,000. It was the best April for the Escape since the vehicle first went on sale 13 years ago.

Ford's luxury Lincoln brand also showed signs of a turnaround after years of declining sales. Sales of the new Lincoln MKZ sedan, which reached many U.S. showrooms in April, more than doubled over last year. Lincoln sales rose 21 percent for the month.

Sales of Ford's F-Series pickup, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., rose 24 percent over last April, with continuing demand from home builders and other businesses. Ford sold more than 59,000 F-Series pickups in the U.S. last month.