Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) continued to invest heavily in innovative products for the future even during the American auto industry’s crisis a few years ago.
Now, Ford is betting the same policy will work in Europe, where trade and industry conditions are weakening and car sales are at their lowest point in 15 years.
The company said it would launch 15 new or redesigned models over the next 5 years to strengthen its stressed European division. New models will include stalwarts from its American line-up like the Mustang sports car and the Edge sports utility vehicle.
Raising the stakes in Europe is a bold move for Ford, which is expected to lose more than $1 billion in Europe this year.
The European auto industry is in collapse. Burdened with high costs and too much capacity in the face of weak demand, many automakers on the continent, including Ford, need to shut factories and make fewer cars.
From Ford’s press release on the topic: “Even with the near-term business environment, Europe presents a significant opportunity for profitable growth,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “Today, we are accelerating the introduction of our new products in Europe, leveraging our One Ford plan – with a full family of vehicles offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value – just like we did when we transformed our business in North America.”
In its last trading session, Ford gained 3.66% and closed at $9.92. The overall trading volume of 68 million shares was well over average.