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Ford Wants to Run Over Tesla

This year continues to be a tough one for automakers - unless their name is Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) , that is.

Tesla is up almost 6% Thursday, after posting earnings that beat expectations for the second quarter. Meanwhile, Tesla's Detroit rivals at Ford Motor Co. (F) have been struggling this year. Shares of Ford are down 9.4% since the calendar flipped to January, underperforming the S&P 500's massive rally by a very big margin.

In some ways, Ford and Tesla are cross-town rivals. While Ford still calls Detroit home, the firm has a big (and growing) presence in Silicon Valley, where it's working on plans to have fully autonomous vehicles in commercial operation by the year 2021. Simply put, Ford is targeting Tesla and its own autopilot functionality right now.

At the same time, Ford has been ramping up its own...