Ford Motor Co. is increasing its investments in the emerging markets in South America and South Africa in order to catch up with General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. In an interview, Rebecca Lindland, an IHS Global Insight Inc. forecaster, said that Ford was "very, very unhealthy" only a few years ago, but that it is now able to start investing again.
In particular, Ford revealed this week that its spending to retool factories in South Africa will increase by $207 million, while it will add $281 million for Brazil, and $250 million for Argentina.
J.D. Power & Associates estimates that global sales industrywide could rise 4% to 66.9 million cars in 2010. Ford, which had avoided bankruptcy and a US bailout, posted a $2.7 billion net income in 2009, ending losses amounting to $30 billion in the three previous years. In an interview last February, CFO Lewis Booth said that capital spending could rise by $1 billion in 2010.
Meanwhile, Brian Johnson, a Barclays Capital analyst, said that Ford may be a top-five automaker worldwide but in several emerging markets, it trails Toyota and GM.
Johnson revealed that in South America, Ford only got about half the sales that GM, Toyota and Fiat SpA have recorded. And in South Africa, it will well behind all these named companies. Toyota is the world's largest automaker. It is estimated that about 46% of Ford's $118.3 billion in 2009 revenue originated from outside North America. [via autonews]