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Ford (F) Launches Hybrid Models to Revive Europe Business

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Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) is set to introduce four plug-in hybrids and two battery-powered vehicles in a bid to recover from losses incurred in the European market, per Bloomberg. At the beginning of 2019, the U.S. automaker announced restructuring the business to recover money-losing regional operation. At present, automakers are struggling in Europe due to slackening vehicle sales and tightening emission regulations.

From the upgraded SUV line-up, Ford will offer Explorer in a PHEV variant, revamped Kuga plug-in hybrid and compact Puma in a mild-hybrid variant. The new Puma will be manufactured at its hub based in Craiova, Romania, and is expected to reach showrooms by the end of the year.

Beside SUVs, Ford will launch an all-electric Transit van for the commercial market by 2021. Further, a plug-in hybrid version of the Transit van will be available in the market this year.

Ford Motor Company Price and Consensus


Apart from upgraded model launches, the company is reviewing operations in Britain, if the country exits from the European Union without a deal. Ford operates two engine factories in Britain. Last month, the company announced that it was moving out of the Russia market, with three plant closures. Beside this, it plans to slash workforce in Germany and the U.K. This automaker currently employs roughly 54,000 people in Europe.

Apart from sluggish vehicle sales, mounting costs are hurting Ford’s profitability in the region. With an aim to reduce expenses, it is partnering with peer companies. In January, it announced that it collaborated with Volkswagen AG. Per the partnership, the companies will build commercial vans and pickups, and explore electric and autonomous technological developments.

Shares of Ford have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past six months. Over this time frame, the company has gained 0.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 6.4%.


Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the broader auto sector are Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. (GELYY - Free Report) , Ferrari N.V. (RACE - Free Report) and PACCAR Inc. (PCAR - Free Report) . Geely Automobile and Ferrari currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while PACCAR has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Geely Automobile has an expected long-term growth rate of 7%. Over the past six months, shares of the company have gained 13.4%.

Ferrari has an expected long-term growth rate of 18.5%. The stock has gained 2.9% in the past six months.

PACCAR has an expected long-term growth rate of 8.4%. Over the past six months, shares of the company have gained 0.5%.

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