Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) have both come a long way since the depths of the recession. Each company took a very different route, but both are now better managed and more profitable. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has much larger revenues and sells more vehicles globally, yet even with that top-line advantage it lags behind its rival Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) in bottom-line profits. That’s because Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) cut costs and improved operating efficiency to bring more dollars of each sale to the bottom line – and it’s worked tremendously. That’s a large reason for Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s recent stock rally that saw its 52-week low of $8.82 rocket up to around $15 – but there’s more to be excited about.
Those four vehicles, from left to right, are the Escape, Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has named the combination of these four segments to be the “super segment”. Ford is focusing its effort and toward new models because it expects that global growth will be in those segments. Consider that in 2004 the super segment accounted for about 35% of new vehicle sales, but now it’s over 50%.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s retail market share of this super segment is up 28% which is a solid gain. Most of that share is at the expense of Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC), which have long dominated these segments with fuel-efficient and valuable vehicles. In 2008, the two leading Japanese auto’s accounted for about 36% of the super segment while Ford had 8%. Fast-forward five years and Toyota and Honda now combine for 28%. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) alone accounts for 13% in the super segment through April sales – on the heels of Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM)’s leading position at 15%.
Ford’s increased share in the super segment is one of the reasons its stock has rallied, but here’s why it will continue. According to Ford, it expects even more growth in the super segment than already seen, driven by baby boomers continuing the trend of downsizing their vehicles. In addition to that, on the opposite end of the generational spectrum, the millennials have been drawn to the Fiesta. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) hopes to keep luring younger first-time buyers to its brand – creating a loyal, future bloodline.