Ford will report its first quarter earnings tomorrow and analysts are expecting strong profits. While that's good news for Ford, many consumers can expect to pay more for a new Ford, as those profits come in part from increasing transaction prices. 

Photo courtesy of Ford

The Detroit Free Press says that analysts are predicting that Ford profits for the first quarter of 2013 will be more than the $1.4 billion profit Ford posted in the first quarter of 2012. The paper says that any profits will be in spite of poor performance in Europe, where the lingering financial crisis has hurt sales.

In North America, however, sales are strong. Kelley Blue Book Senior Analyst Alec Gutierrez says, "Ford is expected to announce solid quarterly earnings in North America thanks to an 11 percent annual increase in domestic sales coupled with steady transaction prices." He adds that Ford’s market share in the U.S. has increased to 16 percent.

Jalopnik credits Ford's strong U.S. sales to one thing: "Product. Product. Product." The site writes, "The new Focus and Fusion are standouts, as well as the Escape and the ever popular Fiesta. There's no single product in their lineup that isn't at least competitive and quite a few are among the best in their segment."

Ford won the most U.S. News Best Car for the Money Awards of any brand, taking home awards in six of 19 categories. Ford also won two U.S. News Best Cars for Families awards.

The quality of Ford models coupled with increasing new-car demand in the U.S. has led to increases in the prices consumers pay for Fords. Kelley Blue Book reports that though transaction prices for Ford as a brand are down .8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the first quarter of 2012, transaction prices for the most popular Ford models are increasing. In the first quarter of 2013, the Ford Fusion, Escape and Explorer had transaction prices 1.6 to 7.3 percent higher than the first quarter of 2012. Ford sales are up 12.4 percent overall compared with 2012, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The good news for Ford may make it harder for consumers to get a new Ford at a discount. To get the best price you can, check out this month's best Ford deals. You can also use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best local prices in your area on a new Ford vehicle.

In the market for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.