Ford Motor Company (F -1.57%) is just beginning its transformation that will restructure the company into three distinct business units. The Ford+ plan includes an electric vehicle (EV) unit, a legacy internal combustion group, as well as a group solely focused on its commercial customers.
The plan was spurred by its adoption of an EV lineup that has just started production of the electric Lightning version of the popular F-150 pickup truck. Ironically, though, Ford just announced a $3.1 billion net loss in its first quarter thanks mostly to its investment in another EV company. But Ford's investment in Rivian Automotive is really just a paper loss, and investors should focus on what the company had to say about its own business in the first quarter and beyond.
Today's market reaction to the first-quarter report gives long-term investors a better opportunity to buy Ford's stock to help diversify a portfolio of EV investments. The company maintained its outlook for the balance of 2022, implying an increase in operating income of between 15% and 25% over 2021 levels.
But Ford will have to overcome some near-term challenges to achieve that. CFO John Lawler said on the conference call for investors that the company continues to face "ongoing industrywide supply chain disruption and unremitting pandemic hurdles."
Ford hopes that strong demand for new offerings including the Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Maverick pickup truck, as well as the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit, and F-150 Lightning EVs will carry it through. President and CEO Jim Farley called it an "incredibly hot product lineup."
Of course, Ford will have to execute its Ford+ strategy to succeed in the long run. Investors will watch the Ford Model E segment closely to ensure it can successfully ramp up EV production and overcome uncertainty with its supply chain strategy for materials like batteries. For long-term investors who believe it will, today's market drop should be welcome.