Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) as well as its employees and even the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union took to social media to respond to Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump’s comments during the presidential debate on Monday.
Trump criticized Ford’s recently announced plans to shift small car production to Mexico and claimed that it will lead to job loss in the U.S. He also pledged to levy a 35% tax on Ford cars that are imported to the U.S. from Mexico to ensure automakers do not shift production to that country.
However, Ford responded by stating that it has more hourly employees and higher production volume in the U.S. than any other auto manufacturer. It also cited figures to show its commitment to the country, revealing that the company has created around 28,000 jobs in the U.S. and invested $12 billion in plants over the last five years. The automaker also revealed plans to start manufacturing two new models in the U.S. in 2018.
UAW also backed Ford by tweeting that the company is not shifting jobs out of Michigan. The union pointed out that its agreement with the automaker ensures future product commitments for plants involved.
Trump’s attack on Ford is not a new development. The Republican candidate has been criticizing the company for over a year now. Earlier Ford had responded by pointing out that it has been in the U.S. for over 100 years and will continue to be here.
CEO Mark Fields has also given interviews in the recent past to defend the company’s plans. He said that Ford is not planning to move its U.S. operations to Mexico contrary to Trump’s claims. Fields also mentioned that a majority of the automaker’s investments are in the U.S. He further stated that there will be no job loss in the U.S. due to the Mexico investment plans.
Fields defended Ford’s plans by explaining that the low labor costs in Mexico are needed to stay competitive in the small car segment. Meanwhile, the company’s U.S. plants that currently produce small cars will produce larger vehicles in the future.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
Some better-ranked auto stocks include Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. (CPS - Snapshot Report) , Standard Motor Products Inc. (SMP - Analyst Report) and Douglas Dynamics, Inc. (PLOW - Snapshot Report) .
Cooper-Standard has witnessed positive estimate revisions in the last 60 days. It also posted positive earnings surprises in the last four quarters, resulting in an average beat of 51.17%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Standard Motor Products, a Zacks Rank #1 stock, has witnessed positive estimate revisions in the last 60 days. The company has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 15%, which is better than the industry average of 12.3%.
Douglas Dynamics has seen its estimates move north in the last 60 days. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.
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