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Ford Releases Full Future Product Plan Amid Wall Street Skepticism

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Ford CEO Jim Hackett called for Wall Street to show some confidence in the automaker’s stock performance outlook after posting underwhelming 2018 financial results.

But it’s not just poor stock performance that has analysts and investors shrugging at Ford. They haven’t been pleased with CEO Jim Hackett, either, accusing the executive of being vague with regards to Ford’s future product strategy.

Ford has listened to Wall Street’s criticisms, it seems, because it has now released a wide-reaching and comprehensive report providing more details into its ongoing restructuring plan.

For starters, Ford says it will refresh 75 percent of its North American lineup over the next 24 months and will increase its mix of SUVs to be “more in line with overall market.” It will also redesign its commercial vehicle lineup in Europe (with the help of VW) and will implement a “more targeted vehicle lineup within three customer-focused business groups,” in Europe including commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and imports.

The new Ford Explorer will be a crucial product for Ford going forward.

Ford has also been struggling in China and says it is now working on creating “a solid foundation for turnaround,” in the country with the “right leadership and right products,” including the new Focus and the updated Territory. It will also introduce more than 10 new Ford and Lincoln branded products in the country by 2021, 10 of which are set to arrive this year.

Ford wants to optimize its South American business as well, hoping to reduce spending and make general improvements to its operating efficiency.

The company also said its future global product strategy “centers on high-growth product segments, electrified propulsion, autonomous vehicles, mobility services, operational fitness and high-performance culture.”

“We are bolstering our portfolio to capture a healthy share of higher growth and higher profit segments and partnering where appropriate to improve profitability and returns,” Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley said in a statement. “I’m very confident in our plan and our ability to execute.”

Ford also reiterated its rosy outlook for 2019 to investors in the report, saying it’s predicting improved year over year revenue, along with a boost in pre-tax earnings and operating cash flow.

“Our imperative to sustain an investment grade rating and a strong balance sheet remains the foundation of our business,” said Ford chief financial officer Bob Shanks. “For 2019, we expect to be able to fully fund our business needs, while maintaining cash and liquidity levels at or above our target levels.”

 

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Comment

  1. Bob Ziolkowski

    Just as I predicted – F is a strong buy at the current price.

    Reply

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