They Must Be Doing Something Right

Lately I have been wondering about the plight of the mainstream manufacturers, what with their customers being more and more enthusiastic about premium brands’ bargain-basement vehicles.

2015 Ford Transit: source
2015 Ford Transit: source

For a change, it’s lots of big and non-red numbers at Ford. Even in Europe they managed to turn a profit. South America showed less lovely results and Africa is a mess. These are the highlights as copied and pasted from their report:

“Record quarterly pre-tax profit of $3.8B, up $2.1B; net income of $2.5B, up $1.3B; after-tax earnings per share of $0.68, excluding special items, up $0.39 from a year ago. Strong Automotive operating-related cash flow of $2.7B, a first quarter record. Automotive pre-tax profit of $3.3B, up $2.0B; Automotive operations outside North America profitable in total. Record Automotive operating margin of 9.8 percent.”

Automotive News focuses on the European part where a loss of forty million dollars of the same period last year was turned into a pre-tax profit of $434 million dollars. I expect some

Image: haynesgrp
Image: haynesgrp

of that came from Mondeo customers splurging on Vignale versions of the car along with the UK where the Fiesta and Focus are regulars in the top ten and have been since the battle of Bannockburn. The European result is described as ” Europe fourth consecutive quarterly profit and best quarter since 2008″. So, that’s a whole year of profitable quarters. Putting on my analyst’s hat, I can only suggest we imagine how those figures would look if Ford had a convincing entrant in the price class over the Mondeo/Vignale. Overall, the figures are boosted by the popularity of trucks in the US, the appetite for which has burgeoned due to gasoline being so cheap people are drinking it instead of mineral water.

Transit fans will be overjoyed to know that Ford is having no problem defending their position as Europe’s most successful supplier of vans.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

2 thoughts on “They Must Be Doing Something Right”

  1. Kuga and the S-Max are their aces – the rest was sold by the low price and if that is not enpugh – by a big discount on the low price. But they are able to give such discounts and earn money at the same time..
    The Fiesta is a true cash-cow – in its nineth year of its production and Ford manages to keep the FIesta strongly demanded. Cannot be said about the Citroen C5, for example…

    1. Your point about the Kuga raises this question: is this popular in Germany? Danes are staying away from them; I may have seen a handful since it began leaving showrooms. Opel’s Mokka is marginally more popular. The S-Max is also a rarity. In contrast, Ford are selling plenty of Fiestas and Mondeos are probably outnumbering 508s. The C5 is fading and no-one wants C4s. It’s all Astras and Golfs around here.

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