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Ford (F) to Invest in South Africa to Meet Demand of Ranger

Ford Motor Company F has announced that it will invest $211 million in its South African assembly plant, per a Reuters report. The increasing demand for Ford Ranger pickup trucks, both nationally and internationally, has prompted the auto giant to beef up its production capacity in the South African market.

Ford is expanding its production capacity in a number of emerging markets to facilitate supply and reduce costs. The latest decision to invest in South Africa affirms the automaker’s aim of grabbing local market share. The move is likely to create several direct job opportunities, along with a number of indirect jobs through its supplier base.

The company also confirmed that that the first-ever Ford Ranger Raptor will be produced in South Africa when it hits the market in 2019. As part of its strategic planning to accommodate the growing market volume, the investment entails both capacity and product capacity related matters.

Notably, last month, Ford reported adjusted earnings per share of 43 cents in the third quarter of 2017, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents per share. Shares of Ford outperformed the industry it belongs to in the last three months. The company’s shares have gained 13.2%, while the industry has grown 4.6%.

Currently, Ford carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Ford has an expected long-term growth rate of 10.7%.

A few other top-ranked stocks in the auto space include Navistar International Corporation NAV, Cummins Inc. CMI and PACCAR Inc PCAR, each sporting a Zacks Rank#1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Navistar has an expected long-term growth rate of 5%.

Cummins has an expected long-term growth rate of 12.4%.

PACCAR has an expected long-term growth rate of 10%.

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