Ford's Profits Driven Further into Reverse

21 July 2005

Struggling auto giant Ford Motor Company has reported a 19% slump in net income for the second quarter, hit by rising cost levels and strong competition in North America.

Although revenue rose to $44.55 billion (€36.89; £25.62) from $42.87bn last year, net income tumbled from $1.17bn to $946m.

Sluggish US sales of trucks and sports utility vehicles accounted for a large portion of the carmaker's woes, with the North American auto business reporting a $907m pretax loss. Also to blame are spiralling production costs, up by $700m year-on-year, and increased prices for commodities such as steel and some petrochemical resins.

The only saving grace came in the form of a meager success in the European luxury market, which turned in a $17m profit, and the ever-profitable financing arm Ford Credit.

Ford has responded with plans to improve its cost structure by streamlining manufacturing capacity. Further job cuts are also on the cards, while it expects to boost sales with the recently-introduced 'employee discount' sales offer to all new customers.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff