Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) posted strong China sales in February owing to the rising demand for Ford Focus, a highly popular vehicle in the country. China sales escalated 67% year over year to 73,040 vehicles. The automaker witnessed 59% improved China sales in the first two months of 2014, bringing the figure to 167,506 vehicles, compared to Jan & Feb sales of 2013.
Sales of passenger cars, including imported cars, surged 88% to 56,284 units for Ford China. In comparison, passenger car sales in Feb 2013 amounted to 29,950 vehicles.
Ford offers fuel efficient, high quality vehicles, integrated with safety features and smart technologies. Buoyed by these features, Ford Mondeo and Ford Focus maintained demand and recorded sales growth in China. Ford Mondeo sales grew 123% to 7,755 units in Feb 2014 while Ford Focus recorded a 13% year-over-year increase in sales to 27,899 units.
Meanwhile, Ford’s passenger car joint venture, Changan Ford Automobile (CAF), witnessed an 81% increase in sales in Feb 2014 to 53,272 units, compared with 29,389 units in Jan 2013.
Further, Ford's commercial vehicle investment in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), recorded 16,756 wholesale vehicle sales in Jan 2014. Sales surged 22% from 13,684 vehicles in Feb 2013.
China is one of the biggest automotive markets and is expected to record strong performance in the years to come. Ford recorded high sales in the nation in recent times but the profit margin was impacted by investments in new factories in the region.
However, Ford’s China sales in Feb 2014 declined from 94,466 wholesale vehicles sold in Jan 2014. However, Ford is expected to benefit from the product launches and increased investment in the region.
Ford is pursuing a major expansion plan in the mature and emerging markets including China. Last Month, Ford announced its partnership with China Mobile. Under this partnership, Ford’s vehicles will be feature two popular apps, Lingxi and Fetion, through its SYNC AppLink technology platform. SYNC AppLink will be integrated in Ford Focus and the new Ford Fiesta in China by the end of this year.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Tata Motors Ltd. (TTM - Snapshot Report), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report) and Daimler AG (DDAIF - Snapshot Report). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).