Tomahawk, WI 04/02/2014 (Basicsmedia) – With the worst of the winter weather over in North America, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) too is showing some spring in its step. The January and February sales figures were gloomy just like the weather but the figures rose ever so slightly in March.

Mostly Good News

The only bit of recent bad news from Ford was the announcement that it will take a charge of about $350 million in the first quarter because of the weakening of the Venezuelan currency against the U.S. dollar.

But other than that, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) had good news to report in March. With the improvement in weather, Ford’s March sales too improved by 3% and the last weekend in March was Ford’s best in eight years.

Ford seems poised to take advantage of ongoing trends in the automobile market including:

  • Growing preference for SUVs and crossovers in place of small cars
  • Strong demand for midsize sedans
  • Strong demand for pickups (on the back of a rise in new home construction)

Strong Demand for Ford F-Series and Lincoln

Sales of the F-Series pickup grew by 5% in March. The Lincoln luxury brand posted good results in March with sales growing by 31.4% and a total growth of almost 36% for the year to date.

Competitors’ Woes

In a sense, Ford is benefiting from the misfortunes of its competitors. But that’s only ‘in a sense.’ Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) has suffered from severe quality assurance problems as reflected in several product-recall events in the last few years. No wonder Americans do not purchase Japanese cars with their eyes closed. No wonder the midsize Fusion is doing especially well against the Toyota Camry (particularly on the West Coast/California).

With General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s woes expanding daily, with ignition switch-related recalls and Congressional investigations, the winner out of Toyota’s troubles and GM’s misfortunes is likely to be Ford, at least in North America.

China Plans

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is investing heavily — $5 billion — in the world’s largest automobile market, China, in order to double its market share.

The continuing territorial dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands has led to a souring of relations between China and Japan which led to a decrease in demand for Japanese brands in China. This has opened up opportunities for non-Japanese brands.

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