(F) Ford Motor Unveils Atlas Future Pickup Truck Concept

Ford Motor Co. (F) introduced the Ford Atlas Concept, which will be the future version of pickup trucks. Ford Atlas features next-generation turbocharged engine EcoBoost with innovative design and advanced engineering. With this, the company plans to develop trucks with enhanced capability and fuel efficiency.

The next-generation EcoBoost features Start-Stop engine, which turns off the engine in traffic. EcoBoost engines are 20% more fuel-efficient and CO2 emission in the engines is 15% lower than the larger-displacement engines.

The Ford Atlas Concept is based on aerodynamic elements, which includes active grille shutters, active wheel shutters, drop-down front air dam and power running boards. These features make it more fuel efficient while maintaining towing and hauling capability. Ford Atlas also focuses on capability, durability and productivity of pickup truck in order to fulfill the needs of the customers.

These new trucks will also help Ford to withstand stiff competition from trucks manufactured by General Motors Company (GM) and Chrysler. General Motors has recently introduced the upgraded version of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra at Pontiac. These new trucks are expected to hit the market in the second quarter of 2013.

Ford, the largest automobile producers in the world, posted a 17.6% rise in earnings per share to 40 cents in the third quarter of 2012 from 34 cents a year ago, driven by impressive results in its North American operation, and to some extent, its Asian operation. With this, the company has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents per share. Total profit rose 15.6% to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago.

However, total revenue in the quarter slid 3.0% to $32.1 billion due to lower revenues in South America, Europe and as the Financial Services operations offset the marginal improvement in revenues in North America and Asia. However, revenues were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.0 billion for the quarter.

Currently, the stock retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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