Ford Builds U.S. Market Share

| About: Ford Motor (F)

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is the second largest US automaker and the fourth largest in the world based on number of vehicles sold annually. Ford’s recently announced second quarter results show that the company continues to improve its financial position and gain share in US markets.

We believe that Ford is on a solid growth trajectory with positive cash flows from automotive sales expected in 2010, followed by further progress in 2011. Based on these trends, we have revised our Ford stock price estimate from $12.92 to $14.26. Our analysis follows below.

Share Gains

Ford Brand: Ford’s US market share grew in the second quarter and now stands at 16.9% of overall US automotive sales. We expect Ford to capture a US car market share of 11.4% for the full year 2010, up from 9.7% in 2009.

On the SUV and truck side, we expect Ford to achieve a 19.8% market share in the full year 2010, up from 17.8% in the full year 2009. You can drag the trend-lines in the charts below to create your market share predictions and see how they impact Ford’s stock price.

Ford’s share gains have been driven in large part by strong sales of F-series trucks, Taurus sedans and Transit Connect commercial vehicles. The Ford brand was ranked highest among all non-luxury brands in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. It received seven top safety picks in the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Awards for the 2010 model year, leading the entire automotive industry.

Ford should gain market share, at least in the short term, from Toyota’s recall problems (NYSE:TM) and from the continuing financial woes of Chrysler and General Motors.

Lincoln Brand: Ford’s luxury marque is unlikely to improve its market share in the short term due to intense competition from brands such as BMW (BAMXY.PK), Mercedes Benz (DAI), Audi (OTCPK:VLKAF) and Toyota’s Lexus line. We expect Ford to sell around 110,000 Lincolns in the U.S. during the full year 2010 and maintain its 0.7% share of the overall US automotive market.

We like Lincoln’s chances over the long term, however, as Ford has announced plans to introduce seven all-new or refreshed Lincoln models over the next four years.

Debt Reduction

Ford retired $7 billion of debt in the second quarter of 2010, lowering its total automotive debt to $27.3 billion from $34.3 billion in March 2010. Ford’s aggressive debt reduction reflects the company’s improving cash flows from business operations. And by shedding debt, the company saves more than $470 million in annual interest costs.

Disclosure: No positions

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