NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The strength of the SUV segment is making for exciting times at Ford (F) . The automaker is the top brand in U.S. SUV sales, as Ford's president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, told TheStreet TV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
He explained to TheStreet's Ruben Ramirez that demand continues to outpace supply. "It's a good problem to have," he said.
The automaker plans to introduce a refreshed model for both the Edge and the Explorer in the spring and summer of 2016, respectively. The Explorer will have a new 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine, instead of the current 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine.
The base price for the model shouldn't climb too much. However, Ford will introduce a platinum model, which should have a higher price tag to go with its premium features.
The Ford Fusion also continues to do well, especially in California. Hinrichs says the company recently expanded production capacity at one of its Michigan plants in order to keep pace with demand.
More broadly speaking, 2015 should show year-over-year sales growth for the overall auto market. However, Hinrichs reasoned that the rate of growth is likely to be slower going forward, as auto sales have been growing for each of the past five years.
As long as Ford continues to focus on "always taking care of the customers," then business should stay strong, he said. This includes the company's recent ignition switch recall, which affects 65,000 Fusion models.
The problem hasn't resulted any known accidents, but it's an incident the company wants to "get in front of," Hinrichs explained. The recall shouldn't have a material affect on earnings either.
Still, South America remains a challenging environment for Ford due to its economic and currency woes. However, it's expected that the company will have better performance for the region in 2015, he concluded.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell
TheStreet Ratings team rates FORD MOTOR CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate FORD MOTOR CO (F) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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 attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these 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 Ratings Report