Ford Motor began a manufacturing revolution with mass production assembly lines in the early 20th century, but today it is one of the world's largest automakers. The carmaker's staple of brands and models includes the Ford Mustang, the F-Series pickup, Focus, Lincoln, Fiesta, and Taurus. In addition, finance unit Ford Motor Credit is one of the US's leading auto finance companies and accounted for 6% of Ford's sales in 2015. Ford owns a small stake in Mazda and operates more than 65 plants worldwide. The company generated 68% of its sales from North America in 2015.
Ford global reach is vast, and it generates 62% of its total sales from the US. Other sizable markets include Canada (6% of sales), the UK (8%), and Germany (5%).
Ford's two business sectors are Automotive (94% of net sales) and Financial Services (6%). In 2015 Automotive sold approximately 6.6 million vehicles at wholesale throughout the world.
Ford manages its global operations through joint ventures. It has partnered with companies in China, Germany, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam, among others. Ford Otosan, Ford's joint venture with Turkey-based Koç Holding, supplies the Ford Transit Connect and distributes Ford cars in Turkey.
Sales and Marketing
Ford's vehicles, parts, and accessories are marketed through retail dealers in North America and through distributors and dealers outside of North America. Most of the dealerships are independently owned. In 2015 Ford had a network of more than 11,970 dealerships worldwide.
Ford's 2015 revenues decreased by 2%, its highest total in the past eight years. The growth for 2015 was fueled by a 4% uptick in Automotive sales and an 8% spike in Financial Services. Sales from the US also increased 13%.
In addition, Ford's net income more than doubled from $3.2 billion in 2014 to $7.4 billion in 2015. This was attributed to the spike in sales coupled with gains made on changes in investment affiliates and the extinguishment of debt compared to losses in the previous year. Ford's operating cash flow in 2015 also increased 11%, mainly due to favorable changes in deferred income tax.
Reflecting a growing global auto market, Ford launched 16 new vehicles globally in 2015 and is planning to launch 12 global products in fiscal 2016, including the new F-Series Super Duty, Ford GT, and Lincoln Continental. It will add more electrified products for Ford and Lincoln, including the new Focus Electric. Through 2020, it has plans to invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions.
Like many other car makers, the company is also looking to emerging economies for growth, particularly Brazil, Russia, India, and China, where cars sales are forecast to grow more rapidly than in mature markets. Ford is building new plants in India, Thailand, and especially China to meet more demand in the region.