TEMPE BODY SHOP DISCUSSES FORD’S DRIVE FOR VALUE
If you follow the stock market, you are probably aware of Ford’s investment performance over the last few months. Sales for the well-known brand have declined and, earlier this month, Ford has been the recipient of scrutiny about long-term investment and the potential impact of the changes it has made to manufacturing and auto body repair. Check out what our Tempe body shop has to say on the topic.
BUT FIRST, STOCKS
But, if you are new to talking about stocks or want to know more about how this may affect you as a consumer, here is an attempt from our Tempe body shop to break down an overly-complicated topic. (Our apologies to those who buy and sell shares like a hamster eats tiny burritos.)
Stocks are basically a way for a person to have partial ownership of a company. This depends on how many shares you own. If a company sells 100 shares and you buy 1, you have 1% ownership in the company. If the company does well and increases its profits, you can make money from your stock investment. If the company’s profitability declines, then as a stockholder, you lose money from your investment.
FORD’S SALES & INVESTMENTS
Now that you hopefully have a little more information about how stocks work, let’s talk about how Ford is currently doing in the stock market. One blogger reported that in March Ford’s sales declined approximately 3% as compared to the same month in 2014. It was also a slightly higher decrease in sales as compared to February of 2015, which had a 2% decrease in sales.
There’s plenty of speculation as to why these numbers have declined but it’s no reason for stockholders to start selling just yet. There have been a number of improvements that Ford has introduced to its 2015 fleet and for auto body repair. Bloggers across the country, including those in our Tempe body shop, suspect these may begin driving sales up in the coming months.
IMPROVED FUEL ECONOMY
Over the years, Ford has made steady improvements to the fuel economy on all of its vehicles and it has started to push this in recent years. This is especially apparent in its large F-150 series which our Tempe body shop has found to be one of the most fuel efficient pickup trucks currently on the market. Even though gas prices have declined in recent months, using less fuel is a major deciding factor for those looking to purchase new vehicles. This, as you can imagine, can lead to more sales and a better performance in the stock market.
One of the major changes Ford made to its 2015 lineup was changing the building material of the Ford F-150 from steel to aluminum. Also related to improved fuel economy, our Tempe body shop mechanics notes that the material change creates a vehicle that is more lightweight and more durable. Since changing the building material has been Ford’s major selling point--they market it as military-grade aluminum alloy--this is something also expected to help increase sales.
On the other hand, Ford’s choice to upgrade the F-150’s body material to aluminum has suffered some criticism as being an expensive, difficult to work with material that consumers and mechanics won’t like. In reality, our Tempe body shop mechanics have seen that is not the case. While aluminum is a different material to work with, it by no means makes auto body repair any more difficult or particularly expensive. We also anticipate this shouldn’t affect insurance rates, which is another reason for the company’s stock value to eventually move back up.