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Ford India's Sales Up 105% in May

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Ford Motor Co.’s (F) Indian unit sold 12,288 vehicles in May 2014, up 105% from 5,993 units in May 2013. The figures include both domestic wholesales and exports.

Domestic sales surged 51% to 6,053 units in May 2014 from 4,002 vehicles in 2013. Exports by Ford India spiked to 6,235 vehicles from 1,991 vehicles in May 2013. During the month, Ford India reopened bookings for various versions of the EcoSport compact urban SUV. The car is highly popular, with more than 50,000 units delivered to date.

The newly elected government in India has raised optimism in the business community. Ford India believes that the government will support policies that boost industrial growth and encourage foreign investment in the nation.

Ford is pursuing a major expansion plan in the mature and emerging markets, primarily Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Thailand. The company expects Asia-Pacific (mainly China and India) to account for 70% of its global growth in this decade and generate 40% of its vehicle sales in the next 4 to 5 years.

Ford projects compact car sales in India to reach about 2 million vehicles in 2018, almost double the 2013 level. In order to support the increasing sales, Ford aims to extend dealerships in India to 500 by 2015.

The company plans to boost exports of its engine production from India by shipping them to Europe. Currently, the automaker exports 40% of its India-made engines and 25% of its India-made cars to 35 countries. It intends to manufacture 450,000 cars and 600,000 engines in India by 2015.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Fox Factory Holding Corp (FOXF), Gentherm Incorporated (THRM) and Magna International Inc. (MGA). Fox Factory and Gentherm carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Magna is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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