Lady Luck seems to be smiling on Ford

An ancient Roman dramatist notably said: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Well, Ford Motor Co. could be really lucky this summer.

First, Ford's Asian competitors are likely to see vehicle inventories tighten this summer from the supply chain problems stemming from the March earthquake in Japan.

Now, factor in rapidly rising U.S. gasoline prices that are pumping up demand for small, fuel-efficient cars -- again, cars that Asian automakers are likely to have in short supply.

And Ford is prepared. It redesigned the Focus compact and launched it this spring. The Focus comes on the heels of the all-new Fiesta subcompact, which Ford launched last summer. Both cars can earn up to 40 mpg highway.

All of these conditions seem to indicate the stars are aligning for Ford.

In fact, some analysts believe among all the U.S. automakers, Ford stands to benefit most from the Japan quake through improved pricing, as opposed to volume, since Ford itself is running on tight inventories of the small cars.

If Ford plays its cards right, keeps churning out just enough Focus and Fiesta cars to meet demand and shun incentives, watch for a wink from Lady Luck.

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