Dearborn, Michigan (dpa) – US automaker Ford enjoyed strong domestic earnings in the fourth quarter, while its European divisions continued to struggle, the company reported Tuesday.
In North America, Ford saw pre-tax earnings of 1.8 billion dollars, which it said was a new record for the company. Overall, pre-tax profit for the year was 8 billion dollars, and full year net income was 5.7 billion dollars, down 5 per cent from 2011.
In the United States, Ford’s 45,800 hourly employees will receive an annual profit-sharing cheque for 8,300 dollars based upon the company’s 2012 performance.
In Europe, however, things are not as rosy. The company lost 732 million dollars in the fourth quarter, and 1.75 billion dollars for the year. Ford Europe ”continued to be negatively impacted by the challenging economic conditions in the region,” and now forecasts a total 2013 loss in Europe of 2 billion dollars, higher than previous estimates.
To stem the losses, Ford has closed plants in Britain and Belgium, cutting 6,200 jobs in the process, and plans to shut down others.
”We will do what’s necessary,” Robert Shanks, Ford chief financial officer, said in a conference call. He went on to say that 2013 will be the company’s most difficult year in Europe, but that things will then slowly improve.
The company also plans to introduce new models to the European market.
Despite the overall good news, Ford’s stock dropped 4 per cent in early trading.
Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO, predicted that the company’s fortunes will only improve.
”We are well positioned for another strong year in 2013, as we continue our plan to serve customers in all markets around the world with a full family of vehicles – small, medium and large; cars, utilities and trucks – with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”