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.
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
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.