Days after it reported strong September sales in China, Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) revealed that it aims to increase its market share in the country to 5% in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 3.2% at the end of 2012, according to Reuters. The company’s share in vehicle sales in China was 2.5% in 2011.
Ford recorded vehicle sales of 96,111 units in China in Sep 2013, compared with 71,183 vehicles in August. This amounts to a year-over-year increase of 61%, mainly on the back of product launches. This is the fourth consecutive month of increased sales in China for Ford.
Ford’s sales in China in the first nine months of 2013 amounted to 647,849 units. This represents a 51% increase over the prior-year period.
The improvement in sales was a result of Ford’s efforts to expand its product portfolio and dealer network in the nation. The company recently revealed that it has selected 10–11 dealers in China for its Lincoln brand, of which 4 will be operational by next year.
Ford plans to triple its line-up in China by introducing 15 models by 2015. In June, Ford opened a new assembly plant in China in collaboration with Jiangling Motors Corp. This doubled the company’s production capacity in the country.
Ford expects the potential growth in Asia, mainly China and India; and rising demand for small cars to boost its global sales by 50% to 8 million vehicles by 2015. The automaker anticipates small cars to account for 55% of the total sales by 2020 compared with 48% presently. One-third of the small car sales is expected to come from Asia.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other automobile stocks worth considering at present are Daimler AG (DDAIF), General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FUJHY). While Daimler and Fuji carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), General Motors carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).