Ford Motor Company’s (NYSE:F) stock price has taken a hammering since January. Since the first time I warned about the company’s grim prospects, the stock plunged more than 40%. The coronavirus outbreak has only magnified the company’s woes.
The automobile industry is cyclical. But Ford has failed to make the most of the boom cycle in the industry.
The stock has languished in a downtrend for over six years. With U.S. auto sales flatlining, the contraction cycle of the industry is staring the company right in the face.
And that was before the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on a global level. The outbreak may be the final nail in Ford’s coffin.
Legacy U.S. automakers must navigate the ugly one-two punch of an impending recession and a declining ageing population.
Goldman Sachs has already darkened its outlook for the U.S. economy, predicting that it could shrink by 5% in the coming quarter. And the population of baby boomers – Ford’s biggest buyers – is dwindling.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic threatens to amplify this trend.
The U.S. government has done a terrible job of containing coronavirus. And because the virus is much more fatal for people over the age of 50, it will hurt Ford’s most important consumer group.
But the automaker was struggling even before coronavirus sent the global economy into a tailspin.
Ford had announced ambitious restructuring plans right before the outbreak. Those plans will have to take a backseat as coronavirus has disrupted both demand and supply.
Millennials and Gen Z are replacing baby boomers in the U.S. auto market, and carmakers are finding that their tastes are wildly different from those of the baby boomers.
Millennials and Gen Z are more mindful of the climate change crisis, according to a poll conducted by Gallup.
That likely means shifting demographics will lead to a significant drop in demand for climate-hostile vehicles like Ford’s F-150 pickup trucks.
And leadership’s efforts to pivot away from the gas-guzzling F-150 have been unsuccessful.
With no replacement of the F-150 in sight, it’s never been more clear that bankruptcy is unavoidable for Ford Motor Company.
Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com.