Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) said its first-quarter profit declined on higher costs and lower vehicle sales.
The automaker’s quarterly profit totaled $1.59 billion, or 40 cents a share, down from $2.45 billion, or 61 cents, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter rose to $39.1 billion from $37.7 billion a year earlier.
During the quarter, Ford announced recalls affecting 441,000 vehicles. That included about 230,000 vehicles with 1.6-liter GTDI engines that have a risk of catching fire. Ford said its increased expenses also stemmed from higher commodity costs and investing in new models.
In the US, Ford’s biggest market, total vehicle sales fell 4.4% for the quarter, with its car models especially hard hit. Car deliveries plunged 22%, with the Focus falling 27% and Fusion 32%. F-Series trucks, Ford’s most profitable offering, surged 10% for the quarter.
Ford’s total vehicle sales were worse than industrywide deliveries of cars and light trucks, which declined 1.5% to 4.03 million, according to Autodata Corp. (Mahwah, NJ).
Ford’s first-quarter pretax profit in North America totaled $2 billion, down $1.1 billion from a year earlier. The automaker also reported a $176 million pretax profit in Europe and $124 million in its Asia Pacific region. The European profit was down $258 million from the first quarter of 2016 and the Asia Pacific profit was down $96 million.
The company said it still expects 2017 North America results “to be strong, but lower than 2016.” Ford forecast that Europe will stay in the black “although below 2016 levels.”
Ford’s South American unit posted a pretax loss of $244 million, which was a $12 million improvement from a year earlier.