Ford ( F Quick Quote F - Free Report) recently joined forces with Jiangling Motors Corporation (“JMC”) to form a new 49:51 joint venture (JV) –– Jiangling Ford Automobile Technology (Shanghai) Co. –– aimed at strengthening Ford's sales efforts and reach in China. The venture will solidify the collaboration between Ford and its longtime China partner JMC as the companies come together to accelerate the implementation of the Ford’s China 2.0 business transformation plan. JMC Ford Technology will amalgamate both partners’ resources and revamp the existing distribution channel to offer customers in China a robust lineup of Ford passenger vehicles -- mainly SUVs and vans -- built through a network of 181 showrooms in major China markets. The expanded product portfolio includes the recently launched all-new Ford Equator Sport, a five-passenger mid-size SUV equipped with an advanced driver-assist system, Tencent’s TAI 3.0 IVI system, high-accuracy AR real-world navigation and over-the-air software update capability. Improved operational efficiencies will allow the companies to leverage each other’s expertise to expand in China and more effectively cater to consumer needs delivered through a customer-centered always-on experience. In a separate noteworthy development, Ford Pro – the global business and brand within Ford– recently introduced a vertically-integrated Ford Pro Intelligence platform that powers a suite of digital services and is designed for all commercial businesses, regardless of size or vocation. Ford Pro Intelligence will integrate Salesforce, which will enhance commercial customers’ experience, providing always-on, easy access to an array of products, services, tools and support. With the latest launch, Ford Pro will revolutionize how commercial customers work by ensuring more data, uptime, productivity, smart charging and much less hassle. Moreover, Ford Pro will pioneer Ford’s transformation to an always-on relationship with its customers as the company bets big to dominate the connected electric mobility future.
With the rollout of Ford Pro Intelligence, customers will now have access to a much easier-to-use system for fleet management that will integrate everything they need in one comprehensive cloud-based suite of services to help optimize energy costs and uptime.
Ford has witnessed strong demand for the electrified version of America’s best-selling van, 2022 E-Transit. More than 300 small, medium and large business customers have placed orders for more than10,000 vans, while retail giant Walmart is scheduled to take delivery of more than 1,100 vans. E-Transit is one of two all-electric work vehicles available from Ford Pro this year. F-150 Lightning Pro will arrive later this spring. Ford Pro Teams Up With Sonoma County Winegrowers
In another piece of news, Ford Pro is collaborating with Sonoma County Winegrowers, a group of more than 1,800 grape farmers in Northern California, to launch a pilot program that will supply Ford F-150 Lightning Pro pickups, E-Transit cargo vans, and Ford Pro Intelligence products and services to three farms in Sonoma County, one of the world’s most renowned wine regions.
In addition to vehicles, the pilot program farms – Bevill Vineyard Management and Vino Farms in Healdsburg, and Dutton Ranch in Sebastopol – will have access to Ford Pro Intelligence software, home and depot charging stations to complement the solar power that has been a crucial component of the sustainability push by the Sonoma County Winegrowers since 2014. The aim of the pilot program is to demonstrate how electric vehicles (EVs) and web-based fleet management tools can help the agriculture industry by accelerating productivity, improving sustainability and reducing the total cost of fleet ownership. Ford Pro is highly optimistic about teaming up with Sonoma County Winegrowers to advance their sustainability goals and kick-start their transition to fully integrated all-electric fleets with on-site charging. Ford Pro Intelligence services are designed to help small businesses optimize their gas and electric fleets to help reduce operating costs, vehicle downtime and fuel consumption. Also, amid the heightening climate change concerns, Ford is committed to reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. This Zacks Rank#1 company is targeting 100% renewable energy for its global operations by 2035 and being fully carbon neutral worldwide by 2050. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Other Key Auto Picks
A few other stocks in the auto space that investors can consider are
Tesla ( TSLA Quick Quote TSLA - Free Report) , General Motors ( GM Quick Quote GM - Free Report) and LKQ Corporation ( LKQ Quick Quote LKQ - Free Report) . While Tesla flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1, General Motors and LKQ Corp carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy) currently. Tesla has an expected earnings growth rate of 35.2% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2022 earnings has been revised 85 cents upward in the past 30 days. Tesla’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters while missing once, delivering an earnings surprise of 25.4%, on average. TSLA has surged 8.4% in the past year.
General Motors has an expected earnings growth rate of 2.7% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2022 earnings has been revised 19 cents upward in the past 30 days.
General Motors’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 46.5%, on average. GM has surged 6.1% in the past year. LKQ Corp has an expected earnings growth rate of 3.3% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 2 cents in the past 60 days. LKQ Corp’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 34.4%, on average. LKQ has rallied 52% in the past year.