Ford seeks to woo Wall Street with its new direction

Ford Motor is telling investors today it will not neglect its core business while investing more money in new forms of mobility with uncertain business models.

It may not be an easy sell: Ford shares have fallen 12% from the beginning of the year from $14.09 to Tuesday's closing price of $12.38.

This is a crucial period for the company's perception on Wall Street because the six-year recovery in new vehicle sales in the U.S. is cooling, while the U.K.'s exit from the European Union has presented a new challenge to Ford's rebound in Europe.

Then there is the high-stakes competition to develop and refine fully autonomous vehicles that initially will be used in ride-sharing services.

In a series of presentations by Ford's top executives today, the automaker will emphasize the following strategic priorities:

•Fortify its core business by building on its global leadership in trucks, vans, commercial and performance vehicles and growing in global utility vehicles.

•Transform traditionally underperforming parts of its core business, including luxury, small vehicles and select emerging markets.

•Invest and reallocate capital in the company’s emerging opportunities, driving for leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility.

"During the past six months, we’ve been focused as a leadership team on building Ford’s expanded business model – with a more clearly defined vision, strategy and road map on how to deliver success,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields. “We’ve been making important decisions and have agreed on three key principles to guide future capital allocation: where to play, where not to play and how to win.”

Contact Greg Gardner: 313-222-8762 or ggardner@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregGardner12


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