This automaker is logging a smashing year

Ford is the only Detroit automaker that escaped the financial crisis relatively unscathed, and it's now more profitable at lower production levels.

By Motley Fool Investor Beat Sep 5, 2013 3:29PM
New car sales are surging, reaching a pace investors haven't witnessed since before the 2008 crisis. It's no surprise, then, that Ford (F) shares have jumped nearly 80% over the past year, and 33% year to date.

The 110-year-old automaker is reaping the benefits of consumers once again entering the new car market after spending several years post-crisis putting off purchases and choosing used cars instead.

Of Detroit's Big Three, Ford is the only company to escape the financial meltdown unscathed. Chrysler is now a subsidiary of Fiat, and General Motors (GM) was bailed out by the U.S. government, only returning to public markets in late 2010.

Motley Fool analyst Matt Koppenheffer notes how far Ford has come thanks to aggressive cost-cutting and debt reduction. Ford has fewer workers, fewer production facilities and fewer costs, so that now the company can be more profitable at lower production levels. Matt had pegged Ford as the worst stock for 2009, but he admits he got that outcome wrong.
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14Comments
Sep 5, 2013 4:28PM
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My wife & I have been buying Ford/Lincoln products for the last 20 years and all of them have held up extremely well.  I made the mistake of getting a 2010 Mazda CX-9  which was in the repair shop on numerous occasions and it was one of the worst cars i have ever owned.  It went thru 2 sets of rotors(factory ones rusted out), parts of the car had to be repainted as the black paint was chipping & coming off, heated seats, moon roof, power mirrors, radio had electrical issues and after 10,000 miles the vehicle rode like it had no suspension.  Although it was covered under warranty I made sure I got rid of it before the warranty expired.
Sep 5, 2013 6:39PM
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We are 66 and 70 years old. Have purchased many autos new and used over our lifetimes. You will never hear us say "they don't build them the way they used to". Todays auto and truck manufacturers ALL build a better vehicle. The technology especially the computers make them more comfortable to drive, more efficient, last much longer, have much better guarantees, require much less maintenance and best of all unless you are a real car buff you can't tell the years of age. Living in the Southwest we are fortunate our vehicles never are in snow, salt or sand as well as don't have the cold shrink parts and then expand which makes gaskets leak. We are a Ford family with a Grand marquis, MKZ, Edge and Focus. They have all been trouble free and only have received normal maintenance. We do not knock any manufacturer however in today's marketplace your dollar buys a much better vehicle than your grandfathers money.
Sep 6, 2013 10:50AM
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The Manufactures seem to be doing fine as the case may be....How we got this point at this time is almost MOOT....And should be in the Rear view mirror, moving forward.

 

All the Big Three had Federal funds around the time of the bailouts, Ford was not an exception and had received monies before the others(in the past year or two)....Just is not noted well in history...

The other two getting bigger injections to save the manufacturing, or a large portion of it, that we still had left in the U.S. Near a million jobs may have been saved(?) plus Millions of family members could still go living a half way decent life...Ma&Pa stores, Bars, Restaurants, Small shops, Retirees, Auto parts Suppliers, Car Dealers, Banks and even School systems benefitted in many ways...That are unseen.

Detroit didn't fair as well lately, but they had been crumbling since the latter 70s.

 

Dealers are probably doing better today, because of less competition; Many were closed during the downturn, others just went out of business.

The whole business structure...Has learned to do more with less and so far I personally consider it a success..Go Ford, Go Chevy and I guess, go Chrysler; But is it really Chrysler as we know it??

Sep 6, 2013 8:56AM
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I stated regardless of how we got here simply because so many posters will have a different take on how we got here. The 500-700 trillion in farce Global Derivatives along with rising Home prices spurred then busted the Bush generation. Obama has benefited from extremely low induced rates and Big Banks farce assets being ignored for now. Regardless, it's a minor miracle that the Auto sales are even as good as they are, regardless of fleet age. Most autos can go much further if you just keep up with maintenance.

Fact, the US Auto makers are far better positioned profit wise. Fact, US Auto makers don't need sales to move up from here to be profitable and can stay profitable in a much more narrow annual range then before. Fleets are getting older because autos are getting better. Yet I still see plenty of new cars. Seems they either stay in style longer because that, my that looks dated is mostly gone. Luxury CAR sales have gone through the Roof, year over year over year. Euro-zone has been the big drag. If not, US auto companies would be doing even better. So until the next cyclical recession, enjoy the rise.

Sep 5, 2013 4:35PM
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You don't have to be a brain surgeon to understand that Ford is doing well. Why? very simple - Truck fleets got older while we have been waiting on general economic recovery, and the cars got older by several more years.

Everyone knows that these vehicles wear out and need replacing - also, the company got smaller and so did its vehicles. Thus they are selling well due to higher mileage based on the smaller size. Remember the first energy crisis in 1972 - One Ford word "PINTO"

Sep 5, 2013 6:36PM
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The 2014 Corvette is stunning and Ford still can't match that car. WHY !  They also got rid of the RANGER truck that was a milked out design for years and years without updating and redesign. WHY ?  Buyers who want a smaller pick-up flock to the Toyota Tacoma !  Ford can't match it ! WHY ?
Sep 5, 2013 3:56PM
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I have been stating for months now about how well the US Auto industry has been doing. Yet folks refuse to believe it. I have been stating for months how well US Luxury Auto sales have been doing, some folks refuse to believe that too. Regardless of how we got here, we are here. Now it's all about what will we do going forward.
Sep 5, 2013 4:22PM
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Dave, give me some facts if you well.  "Regardless of how we got there"?  It entirely overrides your comment ..... explain to me how this works.  Even the voice on the premise here has no clue....

Some kind of "math"?  "Going forward"....to what?  With what, Dave?  Incentives and write-offs to protect the "stockholders"? Maybe....it is all contrived, nonsense. 

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