Ford to accelerate Europe production
FORD will continue to step up vehicle production in Europe after announcing its fourth consecutive quarter of earnings growth.
It expects European production to rise to 448,000 vehicles in the second quarter, up from 50,000 for the same period last year.
Ford, the only big American carmaker that did not need a government bailout last year, finished the first quarter with profits of $2.1bn (€1.6bn), exceeding Wall Street expectations. The results compared with a loss of $1.4bn in the same period last year. Revenue rose to $28.1bn from $24.4bn.
The improvement in profits reflected combined higher sales to dealerships, company fleets and retail sales of 1.3 million globally, compared with 986,000 a year ago.
Ford Europe reported a pre-tax operating profit of $107m, compared with a loss of $585m a year ago. Lewis Booth, its chief financial officer, said the improvement was explained primarily by higher volume, lower costs and higher parts profits.
Ford now expects full-year volume in the industry in Europe to be between 14 million and 15 million, 500,000 higher than the original estimate, after strong first-quarter sales. (© The Times, London)