Ford (F) China Sales Rise in December on High SUV Demand

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Ford Motor CompanyF and its joint ventures reported a 21% year-over-year rise in China sales to a December record of 150,000 units. The improvement was driven by growing demand for the automaker's lineup of SUVs including Ford Edge, Explorer, the Ford Taurus and performance vehicle Ford Mustang. Sales increased 14% year over year to 1.27 million units in 2016, driven by strong demand for an expanded vehicle lineup.

Ford's passenger-car joint venture, Changan Ford Automobile ("CAF") achieved record annual as well as December sales. The joint venture recorded a 19% year-over-year increase in vehicle sales to 115,000 units in Dec 2016. Also, CAF sales rose 14% year over year to 957,000 units in 2016.

Ford's commercial vehicle division in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation ("JMC"), registered sales of 32,193 vehicles in Dec 2016. Notably, sales in Dec 2016 improved 28% from the figure recorded in Dec 2015. JMC sales increased 7% year over year to 265,056 vehicles in 2016.

Lincoln also recorded strong year-over-year sales in 2016 which increased almost 3 times to 32,558 vehicles. The upside was driven by positive response from Chinese customers for SUVs and rising number of dealerships. Lincoln operated through 65 dealerships in 2016.

Ford is witnessing a record sales performance in China. Demand for Ford Edge and Ford Explorer went up 123% and 36%, respectively, in 2016. Ford Taurus also recorded the best sales figure in December. Annual sales of Ford Taurus crossed 32,000 units.

Chinese customers also widely accepted Ford's performance vehicles. Ford Mustang annual sales improved 45% while Focus RS and Focus ST sales rose 12%. The new Ford Focus sales went up 8% and Escort sales jumped 53%.



Price Performance

In the last one year, Ford's shares have lost 2.6% while the Zacks categorized Auto Manufacturers-Domestic industry saw a 15.3% rise. The drop in the stock price was largely a result of weak operating results across most regions and a dismal forecast for the full year.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Better-ranked companies in the auto space include The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company GT , Modine Manufacturing Company MOD and GKN plc GKNLY .

Modine Manufacturing sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has an expected earnings growth rate of around 11.2% for the current year. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Meanwhile, Goodyear Tire and GKN carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Goodyear Tire has a long-term growth rate of 17.2% while the same for GKN is pegged at 6.3%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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