The two major U.S. auto makers, General Motors (GM) and Ford (F), have come a long way since the Great Recession.

The economic downturn of 2007-2009 was a scary time. The escalating financial crisis nearly brought the entire auto industry to the brink of collapse.

While Ford made it through the recession, GM ended up declaring bankruptcy, and was eventually rescued by the U.S. government.

Nevertheless, the two auto makers have made a great deal of progress in the years since.

Both companies successfully managed their debt levels, returned to profitability, and have resumed paying dividends to shareholders.

Neither stock is a member of the Dividend Achievers, a group of 271 stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases.

But, GM and Ford are both high-yield dividend stocks.

This article will discuss which major auto stock is the more attractive between the two.

Business Overview

Winner: GM

Investors might still have bad memories from the depths of the financial crisis, but GM and Ford are in a much better place now.

Both companies racked up excellent results in 2016.

Last year, GM’s revenue rose 9.2%. Adjusted earnings-per-share increased 21.9%.

GM Earnings

Source: January 2017 Global Auto Industry Conference, page 2

GM sold 10 million vehicles in 2016, a 1.2% increase from 2015.

Cadillac was a major growth driver for GM last year. Cadillac vehicle sales increased 11% in 2016.

It also generated a 40-basis point improvement in adjusted gross margin.

For GM, 2016 was a banner year across the board. It set company records for revenue, adjusted earnings-per-share, and adjusted return on capital.

To be sure, Ford had a great year as well—just not quite as great as GM.

Revenue rose a much more modest 1.5% in 2016. Pre-tax profit fell 2% for the year.

F Automotive

Source: Q4 Earnings Presentation, page 9

Ford’s global market share fell by 10 basis points for the year. It is doing very well in the U.S., led by its flagship F-series pickup trucks.

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