Ford Motor Company (F): A Big Rally Is Coming in 2018

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is making headlines after the company posted better-than-expected sales for the month of November. Ford sold over 210,000 vehicles last month, 1.8% better than the average estimate. Ford continues to enjoy increased SUV and truck sales. In November, car sales also jumped 2%, despite the overall slump in car sales in the US. Ford has a great product mix, which is helping the company offset the decline in car sales. Ford’s F-Series trucks, SUVs, Explorer, Edge and Flex are getting a lot of traction. General Motors has the biggest market share in the automobile industry. General Motors’ inventory for the month of November shows that it sold more cars than Ford. But General Motors does not enjoy the level of diversification which Ford has. Ford Motor Company(NYSE:F) SUVs sales experienced a double digit increase (13.4%) in November. Ford’s recently launched Explorer sales jumped 24.8%.

Analysts have started to think that Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) lacks the urgency when it comes to the production of driverless cars. That’s because Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett started “reviewing” his predecessor’s plan of making autonomous cars by the end of 2021. Hackett even called self-driving cars craze an “overextended romanticism”, in an interview earlier this year. He said that it will take much longer than 2021 to develop fully autonomous cars. He may be factually correct, but Wall Street does not like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) lack of urgency. The future of the automobile industry is autonomous cars. Every car company is working on their versions of driverless cars. Tesla is just two years away from launching a Level 4 autonomous car. General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra thinks that autonomous vehicles are quarters, not years, away. Even Apple is planning to start testing autonomous cars in the Arizona desert. Google’s self-driving arm Waymo recently announced that it will start robotic taxis. However, it should be noted that Ford has not given up on autonomous driving completely. Jim Hackett said in August that Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will start testing driverless cars in 2018. The company is also partnering with Lyft for the deployment of autonomous cars. Ford’s CEO also revealed plans to invest $1 billion in autonomous driving technology company Argo AI. In August, Ford said it was partnering with Domino’s Pizza to test autonomous pizza delivery in Michigan. These partnerships show that Ford is dead serious about driverless cars.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is also strengthening its presence in China, the most crucial car market. On Tuesday, Ford’s management announced plans to launch no less than 50 new vehicles in China, including 15 electric cars. Increased sales in China will offset the declining sales of Ford in the US in the coming years.