Bill Ford is looking overseas for guaranteed profits next year as he forecasts making money outside of America.

The Ford Motor Company president and CEO is expecting success from all of the automaker's overseas operations, including the struggling Premier Automotive Group, according to Automotive News.

Bill Ford did not say whether the troubled North American market is expecting to return to profitability after the unit lost US$1.4bn during the first nine months of 2005.

He acknowledged that business will be difficult as Ford takes significant restructuring steps next year.

"The tougher actions we'll have to take could impact the short-term performance but are the right things to do for the long term," Bill Ford said in an interview with Automotive News. "But the rest of the Ford automotive world I expect to be profitable throughout next year."

Ford will forecast 2006 earnings targets for the businesses in January, which is also when the company plans to announce a restructuring plan internally dubbed the "Way Forward."

This comes after a tough 2005 for the group, highlighted by Monday's news that Standard & Poor's credit ratings services could lower Ford's credit rating by more than one notch in January after the car maker announces its fourth-quarter results.

The Associated Press (AP) noted that S&P downgraded Ford's credit rating to "junk" status earlier this year, making it more expensive for the automaker to borrow money. The agency put Ford on a credit watch with negative implications last month and said the rating will remain until January.

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