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Ford grows profit by 63 percent

Ford headquarters of Dearborn, Michigan are pictured.

Ford reported a $1.6 billion increase in the third quarter, a 63 percent increase over the same period last year.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, which employs thousands of Region residents, pulled in $36.5 billion in revenue. It banked $2 billion in adjusted pre-tax profit.

"This quarter demonstrates that our team's focus on fitness is showing early promise," President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said after his first full quarter as Ford's CEO. "But we also know that we must accelerate that progress in the near term, while taking the necessary steps to fundamentally redesign our business operations to be more fit for the long term."

Ford was buoyed by a 14 percent jump in F-Series sales in the third quarter, its best performance since 2005. Sales of SUVs, including the locally made Ford Explorer, grew 4 percent overall, with a 13.6 percent jump in Explorer sales.

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"This quarter, we achieved more balanced results, with improvements in growth, profitability and cash flow," Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said. "Our solid results give us confidence to tighten our full year EPS guidance to the high end of the range, now at $1.75 to $1.85."

In North America, Ford held 13.5 percent of the market share with $20.9 billion in sales. It had an operating margin of 8.1 percent, which was lower than last year because of higher commodity costs and increased engineering expenses, especially for self-driving cars.

The automaker is a major Calumet Region employer at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. Lear Corp.'s seat-making factory in Hammond also exists to feed the 2.8 million-square-foot auto factory on the banks of the Calumet River.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.