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Ford's third quarter profit drops 55% from last year

Ford Motor Company
2017 Ford Super Duty pickup

Ford Motor Company made $1 billion during the third quarter, down $1.2 billion from its record third quarter earnings last year.

The automaker says the lower profit was driven primarily by three things:

  • Higher costs associated with the launch of the new Super Duty truck
  • A reduction in vehicle production in order to clear high inventories on dealer lots
  • $600 million in costs due to a door latch recall affecting more than 2,230,000 cars.

The Dearborn automaker says it remains on track to achieve a total $10 billion profit for 2016, as forecast. 
Looking ahead to 2017 and 2018, CEO Mark Fields sounded a note of caution during a conference call with investors, which he said was "realistic, not optimistic or pessimistic, but realistic."

Fields notes that U.S. car incentives are starting to rise.  More profitable retail sales are slipping, while less profitable fleet sales are on the rise.

He says Ford will remain disciplined no matter what happens.

"We don't see a recession on the horizon, but we do see a marketplace that from a cycle standpoint -- it's mature," says Fields.  "And I think we're being very proactive in looking at these pieces of data and taking I think very prudent actions and realistic actions for our company."

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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