Ford (F) Expands Commercial Vehicles Electrification Program – March 15, 2017

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In line with its commitment to vehicle electrification, Ford Motor Company (F Free Report) is expanding its existing Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program. The move will bring companies which develop and install electrified as well as hydraulic hybrid powertrains for Ford trucks and vans within the purview of the program.

Ford’s new program, eQVM, will commence with three developers, XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. The developers will modify a number of Ford vehicle ranges, including the F-150, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty vehicles, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis. The program will meet the particular requirements of these fleet and commercial customers for resilient as well as dependable electrified and hydraulic hybrid work trucks, which also retain the original powertrain warranty.

The company’s existing QVM program, launched in 2010, now comprises of over 200 companies that modify the automaker’s commercial vehicle lineup for customer applications. The modified vehicles are used in a number of industries, ranging from school buses to emergency services, and conversion vans to limousines.

Ford plans to invest $4.5 billion over the next five years in 13 new electrified vehicles. These vehicles include a fully electric small SUV, an autonomous vehicle, a hybrid F-150, a hybrid Mustang, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid as well as two new pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles.

Ford is focused on developing new technologies and advancing vehicles through electrification. The company recently explored 3D printing for large-scale one-piece auto parts. The company’s new 3D printer system, the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D printer, is located at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn. It enables printing of automotive parts of almost any shape or length and is likely to provide a breakthrough for vehicle production. It also offers a more efficient, affordable method to create tooling, prototype parts as well as components for low-volume vehicles such as Ford Performance products.

Price Performance

Ford has underperformed the Zacks categorized Auto Manufacturers-Domestic industry over the last three months. The company’s shares declined 0.6% over this period while the industry witnessed a 6.1% gain. Increasing recalls, concerns in certain end markets and lower-than-expected earnings are adversely affecting share performance.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked companies in the auto space include Lear Corporation (LEA Free Report) , Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCAU Free Report) and Renault SA (RNLSY Free Report) . All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Lear has an expected long-term growth rate of 8.9%.

Fiat has an expected long-term growth rate of 21.7%.

Renault has an expected long-term growth rate of 4.6%.

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With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

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Source: einnews.com