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Ford Enhances its Production Capacity

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Ford Motor Co. (F) announced the enhancement of its capacity by an additional 200,000 units this year in North America. For the second year in a row, the automaker increased its production capacity to meet the rising demand for cars, utilities and trucks. Last year, Ford augmented its capacity by 400,000 units.

The plants including Chicago Assembly Plant, Flat Rock Assembly Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant will be contributing to the capacity expansion. The vehicles, which will be produced, are namely Ford Explorer, Ford Fusion and Ford F-Series.

Ford also plans to reduce the summer shutdown to one week in order to increase production by 40,000 units. Summer shutdowns will be reduced in 20 plants, including six assembly plants.

The assembly plants incorporated in this strategy are Chicago Assembly, Cuautitlan Assembly, Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly, Kentucky Truck, Michigan Assembly and Oakville Assembly. The other plants incorporated in this program are Buffalo Stamping Plant, Chicago Stamping Plant, Chihuahua Engine, Dearborn Engine, Dearborn Tool & Die, Lima Engine Plant, Van Dyke Transmission Plant and Woodhaven Forging.

Other than Ford, all the Detroit Big Three including General Motors Company (GM) and Chrysler are boosting their production capacity in the U.S. Three of the Chrysler factories in the U.S, including the Jefferson North plant in Detroit, will not have the summer shutdown. General Motors is planning to launch 23 new cars and trucks to capitalize on the rising auto demand.

In addition to expanding its production capacity, Ford intends to add nearly 3,500 hourly jobs in 2013. Ford announced that it will be creating nearly 2,000 new jobs at Kansas City Assembly Plant, and 1,400 new jobs at Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Ford plans to offer 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S by 2015.

Ford posted an increase of 4.1% in earnings to $1.6 billion and a 5.1% rise in earnings per share to 41 cents in the first quarter of 2013, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

Revenues improved 10.5% to $35.8 billion, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $32.8 billion. The improvement in revenues and earnings was mainly attributable to Ford’s strong performance in North America and Asia Pacific Africa, partially offset by the unfavorable exchange rate in South America and uncertainties in Europe.

Mich. based Ford is one of the largest automobile producers in the world. Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Visteon Corp. (VC), and STRATTEC Security Corporation (STRT), both Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks are performing well in the broader industry where Ford operates.

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