Ford is the oldest U.S. automaker. But new technology and changing consumer preferences could put the century-old company in jeopardy.

These days, Ford Motor can't seem to please investors. Shares of the automaker are down around 25 percent this year, even though Ford remains a profitable company with an iconic brand and a solid footing in some of the fastest-growing automotive segments.

U.S. rivals General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler have managed emerge from bankruptcy to impress the industry and investors alike. But Ford, the company that to American ears is practically synonymous with the history of the automobile, is widely seen as being very much in the middle of a turnaround.

The company's third-quarter earnings surpassed expectations, even though they were down from the same quarter in 2017. As of Monday's premarket, shares have climbed 16 percent since the release of the latest earnings report on Oct. 24, but they are still trading below $10 a share, while GM's shares hover around $38 a share.

The automaker has shown strong performance in North America but continues to struggle internationally. Its South American business has not made money for years, and Ford said in late October that its businesses in China and Europe had "deteriorated." This contrasts with GM, which sold off its European business and is doing rather well in China.

To be sure, Ford is taking action to reverse its fortunes.

The company has separated its China business from its Asia-Pacific segment and hired an executive to run just that region. Ford's primary problem in China has been an inability to keep up with the rapidly changing consumer tastes of the Chinese market, said IHS analyst Stephanie Brinley. Ford recently released a new SUV just for the country called the Territory, and is planning to put out several more vehicles to refresh its lineup there.

It has also said it will undergo an $11 billion restructuring that will cut jobs from its salaried workforce of 70,000 employees.
» Subscribe to CNBC:

About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.

Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news:
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn:
Follow CNBC News on Facebook:
Follow CNBC News on Twitter:
Follow CNBC News on Google+:
Follow CNBC News on Instagram:


Ford's Fight To Remain An American Icon


    • Bradford Ramm
      Bradford Ramm

      This expensive complicated crap won’t last the number of payments it takes to pay them off nowadays.

      about 3 hours ago
    • Jamie Shields
      Jamie Shields

      Ford left Australia manufacturing which was a big mistake because Falcon FG car was great car n with more input it could been hero car as GM kill Holden manufacturing. Now we are left high price Ranger n Mustang with boring small cars, if world fuel n economy change we will be wanting affordable car not big expensive SUV n Trucks.

      about 20 hours ago
    • Gowtham V
      Gowtham V

      Ford fiesta is cheap and good FE in india build quality is just bad when compared to VW or Skoda in india.

      about 1 day ago
    • Cripple guy
      Cripple guy

      Big block mustangs and pickup tucks without all the electronic gimmicks and sell them at a more affordable price might help .

      about 1 day ago
    • Jim Cip
      Jim Cip

      Anybody that counts this company out is a fool.

      about 1 day ago
    • jay jones
      jay jones

      I have a 87 ford crown Victoria Ltd. paid 700 bucks for it. still drive it everyday.

      about 1 day ago
    • EF ANDMK
      EF ANDMK

      Fords and Chryslers are very unreliable. GM has models that are awesome, some that aren't.

      about 1 day ago
    • EF ANDMK
      EF ANDMK

      I gave up on Ford a long time ago. They never were able to produce an automatic transmission that would go farther than 70K miles. Some of their engines were awesome, and some of them should have been the subject of a class action suit. Not to mention the blatant disregard for public safety they exhibited throughout the years. I don't have the time to do a research project every few years about which models of which cars are OK and which aren't. So, I just buy Hondas now.

      about 1 day ago
    • Louis Barningham
      Louis Barningham

      Ford is the best!

      about 1 day ago
    • Jorge Loya
      Jorge Loya

      In my opinion Ford makes the most good looking vehicles luxuriously and styling cars but reliability is not the same wish reliability and durability was the same maybe in a few years they could be there

      about 1 day ago
    • Jose Manuel Ruiz
      Jose Manuel Ruiz

      The last time I tried to help the American automobile industry I was fooled with a poor quality car (Pontiac). Now I only buy Japanese (Honda and Toyota).

      about 1 day ago
    • mike bonora
      mike bonora

      Been driving Ford vehicles for the last 30 years and never had problems with any of them, will always stay with Ford. My 2005 Mustang rag top is much fun to drive, third generation Mustang, I'm glad that they designed it after the late 60's model. Also like the fact that Ford did not run to the government for bail out money. Ford for me!!!

      about 2 days ago
    • Erix7810

      CNBC, please turn off this TERRIBLE background ‘music’

      about 2 days ago
    • Harrision Stan
      Harrision Stan

      Any bad news for Ford= good news for me. Never owned one, never will.

      about 2 days ago
    • Mygamerindahood 1
      Mygamerindahood 1

      Why is my Toyota in the junk yard? Come at me Toyota fanboys!😂

      about 2 days ago
    • Bud Johnson
      Bud Johnson

      Ford was the best for years, because they were affordable, reliable, and easy to maintain. That all went out the window in the 1980's.

      about 2 days ago
    • King Deer
      King Deer

      It also survived the gas crisis

      about 3 days ago
    • gill s
      gill s

      why not bring back the T as a super base car? solid and can be upgraded with many parts.

      about 3 days ago
    • Don Ogoobo
      Don Ogoobo

      Don't just count Ford out. Remember they are the ONLY car manufacturer to NOT take government bailout money.

      about 3 days ago
    • svg571

      bring the T Bird this time with a coyote 5.0 engine and 2 door re drive,let's see....

      about 3 days ago
    • Dark Matter
      Dark Matter

      Actually Ford is not the oldest car company in America it's actually Cadillac even though I know it was founded by Henry Ford but still

      about 3 days ago
    • Matt S
      Matt S

      Why are car companies hurting? Average price of 2019 F150 is $34,000. Average wage in the USA is $49,192 a year before taxes. Break that down to a month, that is $2,664 a month after taxes are removed. Average 60 month auto loan rate is 4.21% which makes a payment of $629 a month.

      Without even taking insurance or maintenance into the equation, that means the average F150 payment takes up 24% of the average American's paycheck. Top that off with rents/mortgages that equal 1/3 or more of each check, with 40% becoming common, that's 64% of your check gone to rent and a car payment....and you still have to buy food/clothes and pay internet that's $100 a month or the average mobile phone plan/phone payment of $85 to 100 a month. Add the phone and internet to the 64% above and that makes 72% of the average paycheck. why car sales are slowing. A freakin stripped down Corolla costs $20k now..which is still 14% of the average paycheck.

      In 1970, the mean wage was $9,870 a year...which translates to $64,664 a year in today's money.
      In 1970 the Corvette sold for $5,192..............which translates to $34,015 in today's the premium sports car in 1970 sold for the same amount the average 2019 F150 does when adjusted for inflation.

      about 4 days ago
    • Isaac Friend
      Isaac Friend

      Look at the interior of a Ford fusion vs Honda accord from 2018... seriously. Who's still buying Ford.

      about 4 days ago
    • Erik Stenberg
      Erik Stenberg

      Bring back Mercury.

      about 4 days ago
    • Erik Stenberg
      Erik Stenberg

      Other than the mustang and maybe the fusion, the cars look like every other car on the market. I own a 2002 ranger ( very reliable) and was looking forward to the new ranger in the use, but it actually looks pretty boring and is way over priced.

      about 4 days ago
    • Greg Walker
      Greg Walker

      Make an affordable vehicle again that people actually want to drive that’s all you have to do.

      about 4 days ago
    • Chris Costa
      Chris Costa

      Just make a quality damn vehicle i dont need a $60,000 truck that falls apart

      about 4 days ago
    • Loopz Garcia
      Loopz Garcia

      Ford like most of their products... Broken antiques
      Tesla like many of us... Innovating and looking towards a clean energy world

      about 4 days ago
    • Huey Freeman
      Huey Freeman

      And those 1.5 litter engines with turbos won't last long. When ppl figure that out, it will bad for any company who made that decisions.

      about 4 days ago
    • marc bell
      marc bell

      Ford did not take a government bailout deal. GM did. Chrysler (Fiat Chrysler) also took a bailout. GM's problems where with GMAC which is now Ally Bank.

      about 5 days ago