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Ford's (F) Europe Sales Rise 3.7% in March, 8.5% in Q1

Ford Motor Co. F recorded a 3.7% year-over-year rise in sales to 174,800 vehicles in its 20 traditional European markets (Euro 20) in Mar 2016. With this, the automaker lagged the industry’s sales growth rate of 5.8%. In the first quarter of 2016, Ford’s sales increased 8.5% to 363,500 vehicles.

Considering all the 50 European markets, Ford’s sales rose 4.3% to 191,500 units in the month. With this, the automaker’s monthly sales surpassed the industry sales growth of 4%. In the first quarter of 2016, Ford’s sales increased 8.4% to 401,200 vehicles, compared with the industry’s growth rate of 5.4%.

Ford’s Euro 20 market share dipped 0.2 percentage points to 8.9% in March but remained flat with the year-ago period at 8.2% in the first quarter. The automaker’s sales in the higher value retail and fleet segments accounted for 75% of total passenger car sales in the quarter, up 2 percentage points year over year and 6 percentage points higher than the industry average.

Ford’s commercial vehicle sales went up 17.3% to 40,000 units in March. Further, the market share of its commercial vehicles was 15.6%. Moreover, Ford’s commercial vehicle sales jumped 14.4% to 80,900 units in the first quarter. This sales performance helped Ford to become the highest-selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe in March as well as first-quarter 2016.

Ford plans to launch seven all-new or revamped vehicles in Europe this year, including the recently launched Focus RS. This should drive sales in the future. These vehicles include the new Kuga and Edge SUVs, Fiesta ST200, and the KA+.

Ford expects SUV sales in Europe to surge 30% in 2016. In fact, it anticipates sales of SUVs to be more than 200,000 units for the first time.

The company also expects record sales of performance cars in Europe this year. Sales are expected to improve 50% over 2015 to around 40,000 cars.

Zacks Rank

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked automobile stocks include Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation FDML, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. CTB and Superior Industries International, Inc. SUP. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SUPERIOR INDS (SUP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FEDERAL MOGUL-A (FDML): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COOPER TIRE (CTB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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