Ford Roars Back

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) shares have jumped 13% in the past month, while the market has risen only 3%. The rise is based on a new optimism that Ford can do well in the electric vehicle (EV) business and will not be among those manufacturers that are parked far behind Tesla in the next decade. (These are the 15 most fuel-efficient trucks.)

One catalyst of the rise in share price was an analyst call by Citigroup. Ford’s rating was raised from Neutral to Buy, based partly on rising demand for cars and high expectations for the Ford Model-e division. Questions about the future of Ford’s EV division and its margins have caused skepticism about Ford’s strategic plan. That skepticism has not gone away, but the plan has started to draw more support from investors.

Another announcement that drew more attention to Ford’s EV business was that it had partnered with Tesla to use the Tesla charging network, which is the largest in the United States by far. Among the concerns about EVs across the general public is whether people can quickly charge them.

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However, at the core of the optimism is that Ford’s EV lineup will do well and that the second generation of these vehicles will offer cutting-edge features. Ford’s pitch to the investing world is that it will lead and not follow companies like Tesla when it comes to EV features that will be available in the next few years.

Like virtually every other large car company in the world, Ford has argued that it will be a leader and not merely a survivor. As of now, more and more people have accepted that point of view.

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