Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) gained 2.3% on May 8, after the company announced strong April sales in China. The automaker sold 96,829 wholesale vehicles in China in the month, which reflects a 29% year-over-year increase compared with 75,315 units sold in Apr 2013. Year-to-date sales of Ford China amounted to 368,150 units, up 41% from 261,859 vehicles sold in the first 4 months of 2013.
In April, sales of imported cars, such as Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Ford Focus ST and the Ford Fiesta ST, surged 72% to 3,251 units for Ford China. Sales of imported cars in the first 4 months of 2014 escalated 202% year over year to 12,249 units.
Ford Focus, which was Ford’s bestseller in China in 2013, recorded an 11% year-over-year increase in sales to 34,006 units in April. Apart from Focus, Ford Mondeo also remained popular in China. The car’s sales grew an outstanding 415% to 10,476 units in Apr 2014. Ford Kuga also recorded a 16% surge in sales to 11,102 vehicles.
Meanwhile, Ford’s passenger car joint venture, Changan Ford Automobile (CAF) witnessed a 29% year-over-year increase in vehicle sales in Apr 2014 to 68,119 units.
Further, Ford's commercial vehicle investment in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC.V), sold 25,459 wholesale vehicles in Apr 2014. Sales surged 23% over Apr 2013, driven by a 25% increase in sales of Ford Transit to 7041 vehicles.
Ford’s revenues in the first quarter of 2014 grew 0.8% to $35.9 billion on the back of market share gains in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China. The automaker’s market share improved to 4.5% in China, fueled by strong sales of Kuga, Mondeo and EcoSport.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Modine Manufacturing Co. (MOD), Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FUJHY). Modine and Volkswagen carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Fuji is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.