Blog: Good looking Ford results
Dave Leggett | 24 April 2008
Ford's Q1 results today look pretty good. The loss in North America is well down and there's a surprisingly big profit in Europe. I don't see any smoke and mirrors at work with one-time items or anything like that - it looks genuinely good. The only slight negative is Volvo Cars tipping into the red (timing is just a little ironic with profitable LR and close to breakeven Jaguar leaving the fold).
Found myself reading Sam Toy's (ex-Ford UK chairman and MD, 1980-1986) obituary in The Times newspaper recently - he died at the end of last month aged 84. He was a big believer in the need to improve efficiency in the British auto industry and opposed protectionism. One of the things he had wanted to do was engineer a Ford takeover of BL, something which he believed would have 'strengthened the whole of the British motor industry'. You can see the thinking. Ford could use the increased volume to get scale economies and promote efficiency gains among its suppliers. And there would have been the PAG-like talk of shared engineering architectures and the like - and we know where that eventually went.
I wonder, though, how that might have turned out and I wonder what Sam Toy made of the UK auto industry's transformation since 1986 - when Nissan was the only Japanese OEM here and Ford made cars here in big numbers (now that Jaguar and Land Rover have gone, Ford Group makes no vehicles in UK, despite being market leader in passenger cars).
Turns out there were three ugly sisters after all. Cinderella was easy to identify. She was better known to her sisters in the Ford family as Aston, named after the car of that name because she was so...
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....