Motor Company profit for the first quarter of 2001 was $1.13 billion or 60 cents
per share compared with $1.93 billion or 90 cents a share in the first quarter
Worldwide vehicle unit sales in the first quarter were 1,805,000, down six
percent from 1,914,000, while sales declined one percent to $42.36 billion from
$42.89 billion a year ago.
However, the first quarter results were bolstered by a strong performance from
Ford Credit, which improved profit by 15 percent to $406 million.
First quarter automotive profit was down about half to $748 million from $1.55
billion a year ago, primarily because of lower volumes in North America.
Worldwide automotive revenues were $34.65 billion, compared with $36.18 billion
a year ago.
First quarter earnings in North America were $754 million compared to $1.67
billion a year ago. This, Ford said, reflects lower industry sales and market
share, and higher marketing costs.
First quarter market share and profitability were also affected by low availability
of the new Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer as production of new models ramped
up. Sales totalled $23.66 billion, compared to $27.21 billion a year ago.
In Europe, Ford made a profit of $88 million, reversing the $3 million loss
in Q1 2000. The success of the new Mondeo car and Transit light truck ranges
drove volumes higher, which contributed to the improvement. Lower costs as a
result of last year’s restructuring also contributed to results.
First quarter sales totaled $8.68 billion, a 22 percent increase over $7.13
billion a year ago, primarily reflecting the addition of Land Rover.
Ford’s South American operations generated their sixth quarter in a row of
improved performance but the ink was still red. Ford lost $53 million in the
region, down from a loss of $82 million in the first quarter of last year.
In the rest of the world, Ford’s results for the first quarter were disappointing:
a loss of $41 million compared to a $30 million loss a year ago.
On a brighter note, Ford Credit earned $406 million in the first quarter, up
from $353 million a year ago.
Results were up primarily because of higher financing volume while improvements
in investment and other income offset higher credit losses primarily associated
with the restructuring of North American operations and lower net financing
The Hertz rental car operation posted a first quarter loss of $4 million compared
to a profit of $56 million in the 2000 first quarter. That reflects lower pricing
and volume as a result of the slowing U.S. economy and higher costs.
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