Look Out, Ford -- Toyota's Upping Its Game

Strong demand for Ford's Fusion has led to short supplies -- and compelled Ford to invest in a second assembly line for the hot sedan. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

Like its old Detroit rivals, Ford (NYSE: F  ) closed several of its North American factories during its painful restructuring last decade. That was clearly a good move: Ford's remaining factories are very busy now, which has translated to big profits for the Blue Oval in recent times. Better yet, those profits are now less likely to turn to losses in the next recession.

But giving up manufacturing capacity has a price: If your latest products turn out to be hits, it can be harder to keep up with demand. That's the challenge Ford has been facing lately with its Fusion sedan and other hot models, as supplies have been very short in some parts of the country.

Ford will almost certainly get this situation sorted out -- in time. But meanwhile, arch-rival Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) is moving to increase its own manufacturing capacity here, as the Japanese giant makes an aggressive push to regain the market share it has recently lost to Ford and other rivals.

In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at the moves Toyota is planning to make to boost supplies of its cars and trucks -- and at how that could shape Ford's prospects in the months and years to come.

Ford's busy North American factories have led to big profits, and Ford shareholders have been well-rewarded this year. But in order for Ford's stock to really soar, a few more critical things need to fall into place. In The Motley Fool's special free report entitled, "5 Secrets to Ford's Future" we outline the key factors every Ford investor needs to watch. Just click here now for your free report.


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  • Report this Comment On August 31, 2013, at 8:38 PM, MARKETSURFER wrote:

    Unfortunately for Toyota and it's stockholders,

    Toyota may be upping it's game but it is also continuously upping it's debt load which already stands at $190 billion. Toyota generates more than $30 billion in cash flow each year and it is only enough to service it's debt load and interest payments. Toyoto's levered free cash flow is around

    zero.

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