With the commencement of the holiday shopping season from Black Friday, Ford Motor Co. (F – Analyst Report) expects consumer footfall to rise this weekend. The automaker also expects high screen traffic at its dealer websites and a rise in dealership service visits.
Ford’s expectations are based on past trends. Last year, the company witnessed a 17% increase in online leads on Black Friday, compared to a normal Friday in November. The maximum increase in leads came from the F-150, which generated a 22% surge in leads. Moreover, Ford’s daily tire sales in 2012 were highest on Black Friday and surpassed the second highest daily sales by almost 100%.
F-Series was the most-searched vehicle on Google in November, suggestive of impressive consumer interest. The truck line has maintained a presence in the top 10 most-searched vehicle on Google over the last 118 months.
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As American consumers make purchases based on online research, the high search rate bodes well for Ford. The company generates one-fourth of its retail sales from online transactions.
Ford had started FordDirect – a joint venture between the company and its dealers – to create a digital connection between the dealers and consumers. The unique joint venture provides various services such as mobile and desktop website solutions, digital advertising, new and pre-owned vehicle marketing services, and social media and reputation management. It also helps dealers recognize potential customers for vehicles or services, thus, helping them to provide promotional offers or make follow-up calls for service appointments.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other major automobile stocks worth considering are Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC – Analyst Report), Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FUJHY) and Daimler AG (DDAIF). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).