Ford Plant

One note of caution though: whether Ford will have enough inventory to accomodate an upswing in demand. CNW's Spinella disputes such notions, saying that not meeting demand during a demand upswing is "a great thing to be in. So this way, it's always in demand. There's always someone out there to find one.

That's how Harley-Davidson ( HOG) became such an iconic brand, sustaining demand even at high prices, he explained. "Cause they always had a shortage of motorbikes."

S&P's Levy has noted that "even as market share gains are likely to be harder to come by as competitors' difficulties recede into history, we believe Ford has learned the lesson to give profits precedence over market share." He still sees more improvement ahead for Ford, as it and the auto industry should benefit from higher sales volume in both the U.S. and globally for the next several years.

"The industry is still at a massively depressed level, so while we expect increased structural and raw materials costs, we think that a normalization, particularly in North America leaves a lot of leverage yet to be had," Craig-Hallum's Dyer added.

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