Ford Posts Highest Quarterly Profit in 10 Years, North America Strongest Region
U.S. Market Strength Offsets Weak European Results
While automakers around the world have lately been focusing more intently on Asia as a growth market, particularly China, Ford's quarterly financial results show that North America is still a critical contributor to the company's overall fiscal health. North American operations contributed the lion's share of quarterly revenues, at $22.3 billion. Europe, the next-largest market, contributed less than a third that much, at $6.7 billion.
Europe continues to drag down the company's overall performance with manufacturing over-capacity and high pension costs. Ford is forecasting a $2 billion loss in Europe for 2013, but remains hopeful on introduction of new models.
The Asia-Pacific-Africa market is the company's third-largest with 282,000 wholesales (vehicles sold to dealers), up 65,000 for the quarter. Ford has 3.6 percent market share in China, about half of GM's 7 percent and half again that of Volkswagen's commanding 14 percent share.
Trucks and SUVs remain a huge part of Ford's success at home and abroad, with the F-Series selling 25,007 more units in the first quarter of 2013 than 2012, and Escape selling 6190 more units in the U.S. for the same period. Ford hopes its new subcompact EcoSport SUV, targeted at emerging markets, will add to its fortunes in key markets such as Brazil, China, Russia, and India.