Ford Motor (F) CEO Fields Discusses 'Plateaued' Vehicle Industry - TheStreet

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ford Motor (F) - Get Report CEO Mark Fields appeared on Wednesday morning's "Bloomberg Go" on BloombergTV to discuss the change in the traditional business of cars.

"When you look at the industry here in the U.S., first off where at very high levels. Five, six years ago when you would have said the industry would be at 17 or 18 million units people would be smiling a lot," Fields said.

The CEO sees the industry as having "plateaued" and there is some weakness "in the retail end of the marketplace" due to an increase in competitive pressures.

"For us, we are going to stay really focused in making sure we keep that core business healthy, that we keep it with fresh product and that we keep our dealers appropriately competitive in an environment where it has plateaued," Fields said.

BloombergTV's David Westin questioned the CEO about any price pressure in the automotive industry and from where Ford is seeing that pressure come.

"You're seeing it manifest itself in a couple of ways," Fields said. "One is discounts in the marketplace. You're seeing that more on the car side of the business, than the utility or truck side of the business, although those are up as well. That has to do with how people are migrating their preferences from passenger cars to utilities and trucks.'

When asked if the CEO sees a car bubble coming a few years down the road, Fields responded by referencing the company's economic forecasts in the U.S. and does not see signs of a recession.

Switching topics, Westin referenced Monday night's presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. During the debate, and not for the first time, Trump accused Ford of taking jobs out of the country, specifically from Michigan and Ohio, by expanding and opening plants in Mexico.

"It's really unfortunate when politics get in the way of facts," Fields said. "We're in a presidential season now. We're just here to set the facts straight and the facts are very simple. Our commitment to investment here in the U.S. and American jobs is as strong as it's ever been."

Since 2011 Ford has created 28,000 American jobs, Fields said. The company makes more vehicles and employees more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker.

As a multinational business Ford needs to look at the best available opportunities for it to make good returns and satisfy customers, he continued.

"We are moving a product out of a facility in Michigan, but then replacing that with two more products," Fields said.

Ford stock is up in early afternoon trading on Wednesday.

(Ford stock is held in the Dividend Stock Advisor portfolio. See all of the holdings with a free trial.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate FORD MOTOR CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: F

Image placeholder title