Ford's (NYSE:F) stock has been on tear lately, climbing more than 30% in three months. The market is finally recognizing that Ford's streamlined operations and well-built cars are paying off. Ford recently recorded its best December in six years, with car sales increasing 5%, utility vehicles up 7%, and trucks up 2%. Not only are consumers gravitating to compact cars that provide greater fuel efficiency, but companies like Ford are producing better cars at this end of the spectrum to entice new customers to the Ford brand.

What's so attractive about Ford, at this point, is that the great design and operational efficiency it has built into its compact and sedan models can translate upmarket to its Lincoln brand, a focal point for the company. Meanwhile, the F-Series truck is Ford's crown jewel, commanding the American truck market over General Motors (NYSE:GM) for the time being. Add to that Ford's significant investments in China, the world's largest auto market, and there's plenty of room for Ford to grow profits. Don't expect an enormous fourth quarter from Ford, but shareholders will probablly be impressed.

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Blake Bos and Isaac Pino, CPA, have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.