Ford of Europe Posts $1 Billion Profit Amidst Slumping Sales

Ford of Europe was Ford Motor Company’s one bright spot in 2008. The company’s European operations posted a pretax profit of $1.06 billion.

With Ford Motor Company as a whole losing a total of $14.6 billion in 2008 and $5.9 billion alone in the fourth quarter (story here: Ford Posts $5.9 Billion Loss), Ford of Europe is doing exceptionally well. Ford of Europe’s 2008 profit is even higher than the European unit’s 2007 profit of $997 million. This comes as a surprise given the dramatic downturn in the industry in the second half of 2008.

“2008 was a game of two halves,” said John Fleming, Ford of Europe Chairman. “We had a positive business environment in the first half with a second half dramatically impacted by the widespread recession triggered by the credit crunch.”

The European operation’s profits reflect what was seen throughout the industry with a “first half” profit of $1.37 billion and a “second half” loss of $561 million. The fourth quarter of 2008 was the toughest part of the year for the automaker as it decreased production to 365,000 vehicles, down 124,000, and lost $330 million. Fleming is not expecting any staggering changes from fourth quarter sales as the carmaker predicts first quarter 2009 sales to be around 325,000 vehicles, down 214,000 from the first quarter of 2008.

Source: Automotive News

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