Ford Motor Company's UK operations lost £129 million in 2001, compared with a loss of £636 million in 2000.

The 2000 loss largely reflected significant one-off actions taken during the year to restructure the company with the objective of returning Ford's UK operations to long-term profitability.

Turnover in 2001 increased to £6,737 million in 2001 from £5,694 million in 2000.

Chairman Roger Putnam said: "Our financial performance in 2001 was an improvement compared with the previous year, and we are on-track to achieve our objective of returning to profitability in the UK at the earliest opportunity. The UK is a very important market to Ford, being second only to the United States in terms of the number of vehicles sold. It is therefore important for our global business success that we are profitable in the UK."

In 2001, Ford investment in research and development in the UK amounted to a total of £482 million, up from £414 million the previous year.

Last year Ford retained new car sales leadership for the 25th successive year, led the new light commercial vehicle market for the 23rd year and was top-selling brand in the medium commercial vehicle market for the 36th consecutive year.
In a record year for new car sales of 2,458,769, Ford sold 404,344 new cars - a volume increase of 8% compared with the previous year.

However, total new car market share was down from 16.8% in 2000 to 16.4% in 2001, reflecting the continuing competitiveness of the UK new car market.