Ford Step Ahead, Posting a $A2.2b Profit for Q1 2010

The A$2.2billion profit for Q1 represents a full year out of the red for Ford, quite an achievement compared to the Detroit based companies neighbours GM & Chrysler.

No doubt the solid financials are the effects of their competition being flawed for most of 2009, with GM & Chrysler needing government bailouts & Toyota being snowed under by a mountain of negative press.

As a result of the stronger than average 2009 their market share rose by 3% in North America, with a US$1.2 Billion profit to compliment their achievement. A strong result considering the US market was the main source of their $US30 billion loss between 2006 and 2008.

Outside of the US Ford has been taking leaps & bounds, following the trend of moving aggressively into emerging markets. Asia has been the main force behind Fords growth in profit with China sales increasing by a whopping 84%.

This international growth is a result of a turnaround led by Chief Executive Alan Mulally. In 2006 the foresight of Mullally secured a US$26billion cash reserve by mortgaging Fords assets, giving Ford a big enough umbrella to weather the recession & turn down a government bailout.

During the hard times Alan Mullally was able to restructure the company under the new ‘one Ford’ program, resulting in a globally united brand with a focus on high quality cars and innovative technology. The new Ford emerged from the rubble of 2007-2009 as the clear winner in Detroit.

The latest example of the united Ford brand is the new European based Fiesta currently being sold across the globe. The Fiesta is receiving rave reviews across both Australia & the US. A global large car platform set to released soon, possibly replacing the ever popular Falcon.

Ford executives are by no means popping the champagne, still remaining cautious about the unpredictable economic climate & the sizable US$34 billion debt used to remodel the company hanging over their heads.

The year ahead looks promising for Ford with the financial department predicting a year of consolidation, with debt reduction becoming a priority. Top executives and investors are now looking to the sustainability of Fords future with the ‘one Ford’ program leading the way.

The strong position they are currently enjoying in the US does not show signs of weakening, with Toyota recalling another 50,000 SUV’s in the states & GM still under government control. However Ford will need a few more solid quarters like Q1 2010 to really turn things around financially.

(Source: ReutersUS)

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