Mark Fields Reassures Ford Shareholders Better Times Ahead in 2015
Cost of F-150 Launch Impacted Early Year Results
A few years ago, Ford’s big theme was “Bold Moves,” highlighting the major changes going on within the company to restructure and rationalize its global operations and product development. At the time, analysts criticized Ford and the other domestic auto companies for their over-reliance on pickups and SUVs to bolster their bottom lines. Nevertheless, there’s no escaping the importance of trucks to the Ford’s profits. The decision to go to an aluminum body on the 2015 F-150 was a bold, but not inexpensive, move in the quest for greater towing and payload capacity, as well as increased fuel economy.
The changeover from steel to aluminum reportedly cost the company more than $1 billion altogether. That investment has impacted the stock price, and Ford CEO Mark Fields is reassuring shareholders that they can expect stronger performance in the stock in the remaining months of the 2015 fiscal year. At the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Delaware, Fields said, “We expect our results will grow progressively stronger, mainly in the second half, as the new products that we’re launching start to really pay off,” according to Bloomberg.
The company launched a record 24 models in 2014, and currency and political issues in Russia and South America have also impacted financial performance. Fields expects pre-tax profit to increase as much as 51 percent this year as F-150 production fully ramps up at the two assembly plants in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri.