Why Ford Is the Best U.S. Auto Stock to Own Right Now

Jeff Macke

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"If it was just about products Ford would be screaming to the upside," says "Dr. J" Jon Najarian speaking of not just Ford (F) --a stock I own-- but much of the American auto industry.

Alas it's not just about the products but also the environment into which those products are sold. On that front, things are a bit less rosy for Detroit's finest as European troubles mount and the Chinese "soft-landing" remains hypothetical.

The rest of the world be damned, with Detroit Auto Show underway this week it's no time to boo-hoo the problems overseas. "Of all the U.S. automakers, I think Ford is the one to own right now," Najarian states.

Auto sales for December were some of the strongest in recent memory, marking the resumption of the industry's rise from the depths of the financial crisis.

There are plenty of good reasons for even cash-strapped American consumers to kick the tires on a new ride. For one thing, the average car on the road in the U.S. is over a decade old. Fuel efficiency has wildly improved over the last decade and national average gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon, and headed for $5 according to Najarian.

When it costs more than $100 to fill up your tank maximizing the time between stops is key, something working to the benefit of not just of Ford but also a name like BorgWarner (BWA) that make the internal systems of a car more efficient.

Other ways to play, according to Dr J, are through auto retailer AutoZone (AZO) or Johnson Controls (JCI), which makes car interiors, among other things. There are tons of ways to play, most of which can work for you IF (intentionally huge if) the economy doesn't go straight into the tank on a global basis. You roll the fuzzy dice you take your chances in stocks as it is in life.

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