Ford Motor could be in for big gains ahead, according to Jefferies. Analyst Philippe Houchois upgraded shares to buy from hold in a Tuesday note. He also raised his price target to $16 from $13, implying 32% upside from the prior close. The firm said Ford’s recent investor event raised its confidence that the automaker has a solid plan and management that will help it close a gap with its rivals. “Ford has in recent months refined a strategy to leverage group strengths and fill the gap between the quality of its product franchises and returns that have lagged peers and lacked consistency,” Houchois said. “There is something grounded and ‘back-to-basics’ in Ford’s strategy of focusing on its strengths.” “Ford has put together a coherent team mixing internal and senior talent from outside the auto industry including CEO Jim Farley’s open mind towards new business models and inspiration from Tesla when applicable,” he added. Houchois thinks the company’s roadmap to improvement across three of its divisions — Ford Blue, Model e and Ford Pro — is helping the company do more with less. He said that, if the efforts are successful, shares could surge up to 107% in a bullish scenario. The analyst added that the gap between Ford’s anticipated 10% margins guidance by 2026 compared to consensus projections of 6% puts the stock at an attractive point. Shares were up 2.8% during premarket trading Tuesday. For the year, the stock is up roughly 4%. F YTD mountain F in 2023 —CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.