Ford drives on to record profit

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK - Ford Motor Company made record profits of dollars 1.71bn ( pounds 1.14bn) in the second quarter, buoyed by healthy car and truck sales in the United States and a return to profitability of its European operations, writes Michael Marray.

Ford's profits - more than double the dollars 775m of a year ago - included a dollars 244m contribution from the European operation, excluding Jaguar, compared with a dollars 66m loss a year ago. 'We're encouraged by Europe's cost reduction achievements. As the European economies recover, the progress we've made there will be even more evident,' said Alex Trotman, chairman of Ford.

Jaguar, which Ford bought in 1990, made losses of dollars 62m for the quarter, the same as last year. Ford said Jaguar was making progress on manufacturing efficiency and quality, and it was hoped to see the company reach profitability either next year or the year after.

Ford is projecting US factory sales of 15.5 million for 1994, up from 14.2 million, while European sales are forecast to reach 13.3 million, up from 12.5 million. During the first half, total vehicle factory sales in the UK stood at 239,654, up slightly, while German sales rose 14 per cent to 522,016. Total car volume in Europe was up 9 per cent, with strong sales of Ford's Fiesta and Mondeo models.