9 Oct

Ford Starts Producing Its Puma Crossover

WRITTEN BY Maitali Ramkumar

Ford Motor Company (F) started producing its electrified vehicle Ford Puma at its Craiova manufacturing site in Romania. The new Puma is a mild hybrid and SUV-inspired crossover with EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt technology. Ford Puma is one of the eight electrified vehicles that the company plans to launch in Europe this year.

Ford has invested about 200 million euros in the facility to design and develop the Puma. The company has invested 1.5 billion euros in the facility since 2008. Ford plans to launch about 17 electrified vehicles in Europe by 2024. To learn more, read Ford Boosts Its Europe Plan with New Electric Vehicles.

In a press release, Stuart Rowley, Ford’s president in Europe, said, “New Puma represents the next chapter in Ford’s human centric design philosophy that is elevating the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand in Europe. I have no doubt that Puma will be a huge success across Europe.”

Ford’s plans in Europe

Ford expects most of its sales to be electrified vehicles by 2022. The company plans to provide electrified options across its vehicle categories to suit customers’ different needs.

The company plans to launch the following electrified vehicles for its European customers.

  • Kuga – a midsize SUV that’s a plug-in hybrid
  • Explorer – a seven-seater SUV that’s a plug-in hybrid
  • Tourneo – an eight-seater SUV that’s a plug-in hybrid
  • Mondeo – a sedan that’s a full hybrid
  • A Mustang-inspired SUV that’s all electrified

Joerg Beyer, Ford’s executive director in engineering in Europe, said, “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to electrification – every customer’s circumstances and travel needs are different. Our strategy is to pair the right electrified powertrain option to the right vehicle, helping our customers make their electrified vehicle experience easy and enjoyable.”

Ford has also teamed up with six energy companies to provide home charging-box installation services. For customers on the move, the company has partnered with NewMotion, which has a vast network of public charging stations across Europe. The partnership will provide customers with 118,000 charging points across 30 countries.

Stock performance

Ford stock has been falling since its second-quarter earnings. Lower-than-expected earnings, political criticism, a credit rating downgrade, and weaker third-quarter auto sales volumes have been hammering the stock. The stock has fallen 10.5% in the third quarter. Ford stock has fallen 6.8% in October.

Ford’s peers have also fallen in October. General Motors (GM) and Fiat (FCAU) have fallen 9.6% and 5.3%, while Tesla (TSLA) and Ferrari (RACE) have fallen 0.3% and 4.3%.

General Motors stock has been hurt the most due to its ongoing UAW strike. The strike started four weeks ago. General Motors is losing millions of dollars every day. Recession fears and expectations of weaker third-quarter earnings impact auto stocks.

In the third quarter, analysts expect Ford’s earnings to fall 9% YoY (year-over-year). They also expect General Motors and Fiat’s earnings to fall 11% and 4% YoY. Analysts expect Tesla to post a loss. However, they expect Ferrari’s earnings to rise 13% YoY. Read Auto Industry: What Can Investors Expect from Q3 Earnings? to learn more.

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