In today's world, most companies span several regions and sell around the world. As Foolish colleague Morgan Housel notes, 10 years ago, less than a third of S&P 500 revenue growth came from abroad. Today, that area makes up half of the S&P 500's growth.
And that number is growing. The truth is, investors regularly underestimate how much demand comes from abroad. More importantly, for large, multinational corporations that have already established a presence in their home markets, much of their future growth comes from abroad.
With that in mind, today we're looking at Ford
Where Ford's sales were four years ago
Four years ago, Ford produced 47% of its sales within the United States.
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
Where Ford's sales are today
Today, the United States continues growing as a contributor to Ford's sales. However, that's not because sales are booming, but rather because sales have slipped globally.
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
With Ford, the name of the game isn't seeing booming sales, but rather streamlining operations and cutting costs. While auto sales remain depressed in the United States, growth has shifted globally. Take General Motors
Still, building out a presence in China isn't a given at this point. The company faces long waits for expansion and joint ventures to be approved in the country, while first movers like GM continue growing out their Chinese presence.
That's not to say Ford doesn't stand a chance, but investors looking at Ford should be aware of the company's global standing. While the United States looks to have ample room for automobile growth in the next decade, the opportunity stateside pales in comparison with the boom in automobiles in emerging markets.
Keep searching for global opportunities
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Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ford and General Motors and creating a synthetic long position in Ford. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.