(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.’s US auto sales rose 7% in the first quarter on strong demand for gas-electric hybrids, despite a laborious launch of a redesigned F-150 pickup truck.

The automaker handed over 504,815 light vehicles to American car buyers in the first three months of the year, as hybrid models surged by 42%, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Sales of F-Series trucks, its best seller, fell 10% to 152,943 as the automaker delayed delivery of more than 60,000 models for extra quality checks. Since Feb. 9, the automaker has not shipped the electric F-150 Lightning due to an undisclosed quality issue.

Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley is putting a renewed focus on quality after Ford had the most recalls of any automaker in the US for the last three years, which has driven up warranty costs. He said in February the redesigned F-150 should equal the Toyota Tundra pickup’s segment-leading quality.

“We are now going from the middle of the pack in initial quality to the top,” Farley said of the company’s goal to improve reliability at a Wolfe Research conference on Feb. 15. “That’s like an Olympic dive with a high degree of difficulty.”

Ford is doubling production of the hybrid version of the F-150 and expects it to account for one-fifth of the truck’s sales.

“The new F-150 will be a big play for us across gas, hybrid and electric vehicle segments of our business,” Andrew Frick, president of the company’s internal combustion business, known as Ford Blue, said in a statement.

Ford’s electric vehicle sales rose 86% over last year, when the output of the F-150 Lightning was interrupted by a battery fire and its electric Mustang plant in Mexico was idled for an expansion. Sales of the battery-electric F-150 rose 80% to 7,743.

Sales of the battery-powered Mustang Mach-E rose 77% after the automaker slashed prices on the model by as much as $8,100 in February. That price cut came after Mach-E sales plunged 51% in January, when the model lost its eligibility for a $3,750 tax credit as the Biden administration tightened rules on stimulus measures to prevent EV makers from sourcing battery materials from China and other foreign adversaries.

Ford is scaling back its spending on EVs by $12 billion as it contends with consumers balking at the high price and spotty charging infrastructure for plug-in models.

Ford shares rose 1.5% at 10:20 a.m. in New York.

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