Ford expects truck division to lead turnaround

Ford Motor Co told Wall Street analysts that it was detecting signs of a turnaround as it restructures its key North American operations amid an economic recovery. Jim Padilla, head of Ford North America, said the group expect new products, especially trucks, and quality initiatives to help boost the critical Ford brand's US market share to 19 per cent by mid-decade. Last month, Ford's US market share was 17.6 per cent. For all brands, Ford executives expect to stabilise market share and plan for an increase by 2005. They cited strengthening economic trends in the US, and reiterated stronger-than-expected US industry sales estimates of 16.5m vehicles. The world's second-largest automaker is revamping its operations to reverse last year's $5.45bn net loss. Moreover, it is battling a resurgent General Motors , which has seen stronger sales this year and has improved its US market share while Ford has not. Ford also plans to move production of the Mustang, its iconic sports car, as part of its drive to overhaul its US plant system to become more flexible. It plans to switch making Mustangs to its Flat Rock, Michigan factory from its Rouge facility, where the car has been built since its launch in the 1960s. The move will make its Flat Rock plant the third flexible manufacturing plant. The move is part of its campaign to revitalise the Mustang. Rouge, Ford's biggest and oldest plant, will make the F-Series and Ranger trucks. Ford executives said the company's restructuring plan is on schedule. Its goals include raising factory capacity utilisation by 10 per cent quickly, and closing five plants to help reduce 900,000 units worth of factory space by mid-decade. Martin Inglis, chief financial officer, also repeated estimates for second quarter earnings of about 23 cents per share and said the company expected a profit for the full year.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.