Profits plunge at Ford



The US motor manufacturing giant’s slip can be in part attributed to weaker sales in its key North America market as a consequence of severe winter weather.

Net income was $989m for the first three months of the year - down from $1.6 billion for the same period last year.

The Michegan-based Ford Motor Company’s adjusted earnings of 25 cents per share were six cents below Wall Street expectations.

The second-largest US car manufacturer, Ford’s wholesale auto sales in North America fell 2% in volume and by 4% in terms of revenue. North America pre-tax profit fell to $1.5 billion - down $892m from the record profit of last year.

The decline is partly due to higher costs of $500m associated with weather-related charges and vehicle recalls. Global car sales volume-wise actually rose by 6% and revenue was up 1% from the first quarter of 2013.

Ford is targeting profits of between $7 billion and $8 billion for 2014, with plans to launch 23 new vehicles globally this year – its most aggressive product launch schedule in history.