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Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) announced that its 2013 Ford Fusion received an Acceptable Rating in the small overlap front crash test and earned the highest crash safety rating, Top Safety Pick+, from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The model, which was earlier rated as a Top Safety Pick, will now be considered under the plus rating for the same manufactured after mid-December 2012.  

IIHS provides ratings of good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance of the car in the moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover. It also evaluates seat/head restraints in vehicles for protection against neck injuries. To earn the plus rating, the vehicles are required to achieve good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 out of 5 IIHS evaluation.

Ford aims to design and produce vehicles with highest standards of safety. The new Fusion with the highest safety distinction from IIHS will assist the company in achieving its goal.

The 2013 Ford Fusion features Personal Safety System, new safety belt technologies and eight airbags to protect passengers. The vehicle is equipped with redesigned seat-mounted side airbags placed in the lower pelvis area and incorporates new venting technology, which further improves side protection. It is also a fuel-efficient vehicle with numerous technologies, which enhances driving experience, reduces stress and helps avoiding injurious incidents.

Michigan-based Ford is one of the largest automobile producers in the world. The company operates in two segments: Automotive and Financial services. Although the company’s primary selling ground is the U.S.; Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific constitute its other major markets.

Ford posted a 17.6% rise in earnings per share to 40 cents in the third quarter of the year from 34 cents a year ago, driven by impressive results in its North American operation and, to some extent, its Asian operation. With this, the company has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents per share. Total profit rose 15.6% to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago.

However, total revenue in the quarter slid 3.0% to $32.1 billion due to lower revenues in South America, Europe and Financial Services operations that offset the marginal improvement in revenues in North America and Asia. However, revenues were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.0 billion for the quarter.

Ford, whose cross-town rivals include General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report), maintains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Buy rating.
 

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