Company reports sales are 'Ford tough'

2013-10-24T12:51:00Z 2013-10-28T14:44:06Z Company reports sales are 'Ford tough'Joseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
October 24, 2013 12:51 pm  • 

A growing number of consumers have driven a Ford lately, and robust sales have been paying off for shareholders, the company announced Thursday.

Ford reported pulling in a record third quarter pre-tax profit of $2.6 billion and netted $1.3 billion in the third quarter.

The automaker, which operates the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, made 31 cents per share in net income after posting its 17th consecutive quarter of profitability.

Total company revenue increased 12 percent as compared to a year ago. Results continued to be strong in North America, where the locally made Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptors have been selling well.

Last quarter, Ford made a $2.3 billion profit in North America on an operating margin of 10.6 percent. The company turned profits in all global markets except Europe, which has been troubled economically.

"Ford's record results in the third quarter show the strength of our One Ford plan around the world," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO. "Working together, we remain committed to serving customers in all markets with a full family of vehicles, offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value."

Local auto suppliers, including Lear Corp. and Contract Services Group in Hammond, feed Ford's just-in-time automotive plant on Chicago's far south side. More than 6,000 workers are employed at the Chicago Assembly Plant, the Chicago Stamping Plant and the two major parts makers in Hammond.

Other parts suppliers include ZF Chassis Systems and Tower Automotive, which are both right down 126th Street from the Ford plant.

Ford recorded a pre-tax profit of $7.3 billion during the first nine months, which was up by $1 billion over last year. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker reports its year should shape up to be more profitable than initially expected. Third quarter pre-tax profit was $426 million higher than a year ago, but net income dipped year-over-year because of $498 million in one-term expenses, including a lump sum pension buyout.

The automaker's market share in the United States climbed to 15.8 percent, as compared to 15.2 percent during the first nine months of last year.

U.S. sales are expected to continue to pick up because economic growth is projected to be at least 1.5 percent, the housing market has been improving and people need to replace older cars.

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