Ford reports solid profits but sees pricing strength ebbing

Ford reported solid profits but said an unusually heady period of vehicle pricing was coming to an end – Copyright AFP Arif ALI

Ford reported solid quarterly profits Tuesday behind higher vehicle volumes and an improved operating performance, but said vehicle pricing was becoming less favorable compared with last year.

Thanks to strong results in conventional auto sales that offset losses in electric vehicles, Ford reported better-than-expected first quarter results.

Profits came in at $1.8 billion, compared with a $3.1 billion loss in the year-ago period connected to an accounting loss.

Revenues jumped 20.2 percent to $41.5 billion.

But Ford maintained its full-year targets, pressuring shares, as executives signaled an evolution from a period of exceptionally lean vehicle inventories of recent times that lifted sticker prices.

While pricing remained exceptionally strong in Ford’s Pro division aimed at commercial enterprises, Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said pricing was “about flat” in Ford Blue, which comprises best-selling trucks and iconic vehicles such as the Mustang.

“We’re starting to see in the Blue segment a little bit more of a normalization of volume and demand,” Lawler said on a briefing with reporters. “We expect that to continue to be more competitive as we go through the year.”

Lawler also described the macroeconomic environment as “opaque at best,” given the drag from inflation and tightening credit conditions.

Tuesday’s results were the first under Ford’s new reporting structure that includes separate financial details for EVs.

The division, which Ford has likened to a startup, experienced an operating loss of $722 million compared, offset by profits in the other two Ford businesses. 

Shares of Ford dropped 2.4 percent to $11.52 in after-hours trading.

Ford reports solid profits but sees pricing strength ebbing
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