The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
plans to announce its second-quarter earnings today.
Strong vehicle sales between January and June in 2011 resulted in 12% growth year over year on the back of continuing demand for Ford's fuel-efficient cars and crossovers. Demand for trucks with fuel-efficient V6 engines also supported growth.
A few near-term macro concerns such as an increasing mix of small cars, rising commodity costs, higher structural costs and potential competition from new entrants remain and will likely weigh on Ford's sequential growth. Ford mainly competes with auto manufacturers like BMW,
, Daimler, Audi,
is about 30% above market price.
EcoBoost Lifts Truck Sales
Ford has made EcoBoost engines fundamental to its strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and performance. This is leading to the increased adoption of EcoBoost by truck buyers who value fuel efficiency without compromising on capability.
The V6 equipped F-150 accounted for 56% of all 2011 F-150 retail sales in June, up from 40% in March. We believe that Ford truck market share in North America will continue to expand as Ford plans to produce up to 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally in a wide variety of vehicles from small cars to trucks by 2013.GThe continued success of Ford crossovers will provide further fuel to Ford truck's market share gains in North America.
Impressive Fuel-Efficient Lineup
Increased environmental awareness and $4 a gallon gas in much of the country has encouraged customers to look for smaller, more fuel efficient cars. In the second quarter, we saw this trend continue as oil prices remained volatile. Ford car sales were able to capitalize on this trend because of Ford's push into fuel efficient technologies has helped it build one of the most impressive line up of fuel efficient vehicles. (See our previous post "Ford Driving Car Sales with Fuel Efficient Line Up"
Ford's two new small cars - the new Fiesta and all-new 2012 Focus -- are the fastest turning models at Ford dealer showrooms. Their combined sales were close to 27,000 in June 2011, up 66% year over year.
Political unrest in oil-producing countries and continued economic growth in emerging economies will continue to reinforce the trend towards fuel-efficient, smaller vehicles and in turn drive Ford's car market share.
Long-term Strategy vs. Near-Term Macro Concerns
Ford has indicated its long-term strategy in its mid-decade outlook. Ford expects to achieve significant global sales growth, refreshed product portfolio, stronger margins by focusing upon its 'One Ford' plan.
Under this plan, Ford aims to restructure to achieve better operating profitability and improved balance sheet. It also aims to accelerate the development and production of new cars with focus on better designs, fuel-efficiency, safety and value add for customers with the latest launches.
But a few near-term macro concerns such as increasing mix of small cars, rising commodity costs, higher structural costs, and potential competition from new entrants will remain, which will likely depress its second quarter earnings.
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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.