Ford chairman and CEO Bill Ford has vowed the company would reach its profit goals this year despite the ballooning costs of rebates, low-interest loans and other sales incentives, the Detroit News said.

"We can and will deliver," the paper quoted Bill Ford as telling analysts at a Tuesday meeting at Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. "We really are on track."

The Detroit News said Ford expects to make 70 cents a share -- about $US1.2 billion -- this year after losing a combined $6.4 billion in 2001 and 2002.

The paper noted that, earlier this year, Ford said it expected net pricing in North America to remain flat for 2003, meaning that it planned to squeeze enough additional revenue out of car and truck sales to offset rising incentives.

Many analysts told the Detroit News that Ford's goal was unrealistic given the fierce competition among makers for new-car buyers and Ford conceded on Tuesday that it might not meet its pricing goals but would recoup any shortfall through intensive cost cutting.

"Competitive and economic conditions may put our pricing assumptions at risk in both Europe and the US, but these would be adjustments not major detours," Ford president Nick Scheele said, according to the Detroit News. "If our pricing assumptions do not hold we are quite certain that our accelerated cost actions will make up any shortfall."

The paper said that, in addition to reaffirming Ford's profit target, Bill Ford made a point of reassuring investors that his management team is working together as a team - the company has been dogged by rumours that some senior executives don't get along.

"I feel very good about the focus of our management team," Bill Ford reportedly said, according to the Detroit News. "Is there tension in our meetings? You bet there is and there should be. The worst kind of meeting you can have is when everybody sits around a table and nods their heads."

The paper said Ford spent two days showing Wall Street analysts its future lineup, including the important new F-150 pickup - Ford's top-selling vehicle - that debuts later this year.