Today Ford (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally is expected to announce the company’s strategy for increasing sales by 50% over the next four years, aiming for 8 million cars sold in 2015. In 2010, Ford sold 5.3 million vehicles.
Most of this planned growth is supposed to come from sales in Africa and Asia, expected to make up a third of sales by 2020, as well as a focus on producing smaller vehicles, which Ford expects to make up 55% of total sales by 2020. Ford announced last week that they are working on the smallest engine in their history — a three cylinder — expected to be complete in the next two years.
By 2014, Ford’s portfolio of vehicles will be 140% new or significantly refreshed from their 2009 versions. That number is higher than 100% because some of their vehicles will undergo more than one makeover by 2014. This afternoon, Ford executives will meet with Wall Street analysts to discuss their strategies for growth. Ford has seen a profit for each of its last four quarters.
Ford’s news is just more evidence that things in Detroit are on an upswing. While ultimately U.S. taxpayers lost $10-30 billion on the auto bail-outs, that’s only a small fraction of what the government gave to Detroit automakers to keep the industry afloat. And now that automakers are paid back, they’re no longer just trying to stay afloat but looking to increase sales across the board. And with Toyota (NYSE:TM) production down after the tsunami, there’s more room in the market for Ford, GM (NYSE:GM), and Chrysler to squeeze their way in.
Still, investors are wary of American cars. While Ford shares are up 0.65% today, they’re down 7.28% over the last month. GM’s shares have dropped 16.2% since their re-I.P.O in November 2010. And Fiat‘s (BIT:F) acquisition of a one-quarter stake in Chrysler hasn’t done much for their shares, which are down 1.83% since they announced the purchase on June 2.