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Stocks in this article: YHOO M F PCLN

Ford Motor

Detroit-based Ford Motor ( F) has seen some trials and tribulations of its own in the last several years. The firm was the sole automaker to avoid bankruptcy in the wake of the financial crisis, and its about-face has been more than just financial. The firm substantially improved its car lineup, revamping everything from styling to build quality.

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Those product improvements were long overdue. Despite quality widely touted for Ford's lackluster sales in years past, management did little more than lip service to correct the problem. Now Ford is scoring top marks from automotive journalists and review agencies, and that boosted sentiment is flowing down to consumers too.

Europe continues to be a sore spot in Ford's performance. Because the region makes up more than 21% of Ford's revenues, a challenging economic environment in the EU translates into revenue challenges at Ford. But the firm has managed to offset Eurozone challenges with sales leaps in markets like China, which ultimately hold more promise over the next decade for the company anyway.

With major milestones getting hit day by day (like the firm's advancement to an investment-grade credit rating), investors could do a lot worse than Ford right now, especially as auto sales here at home continue to get fuelled by record-low interest rates.

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