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by George Skentzos

Ford Motor Co. has today announced its first quarter earnings, posting net income of $100 million on total revenue of $43.5 billion, this is compared to a net loss of $282 million on revenue of $43.0 billion during the same period a year ago.

The news has seen Ford stock soar, closing the day up 88 cents, or 11.7 percent, to $8.40 a share.

This profit comes despite the company posting a pre-tax loss of $45 million in North America, compared with a loss of $613 million a year ago.

Overseas results have improved dramatically, amounting to a pre-tax profit of $739 million in Europe on revenue of $10.2 billion – these results do not include Jaguar and Land Rover which Ford has since sold to Tata Motors Ltd.

South America has also closed the first quarter with a pre-tax profit of $257 million, up from $113 million a year ago.

“In the past several years, we have substantially restructured these businesses. We believe this is an indication that our efforts to leverage Ford’s global assets across the world will bear fruit. Going forward, we remain committed to our key business objectives, including our goal of reaching North America and overall Automotive profitability in 2009 despite the challenging economic conditions.” Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Unfortunately for Ford, not all its overseas interests are booming, with Volvo posting a pre-tax loss of $151 million, compared with a profit of $94 million a year ago.

Ford said Volvo was hurt by lower sales and changes in currency exchange rates, partially offset by cost reductions.

Ford, which posted losses of $2.7 billion in 2007 and $12.6 billion in 2006, expects the rest of 2008 to be challenging, cutting its full-year North American outlook for sales, but said it remains committed to its goal of returning North America and its whole auto business to profitability in 2009.






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