Ford reports quarterly loss but says sales increased

Ford Motor said it lost $526 million in the last three months of 2023, mainly due to special charges related to its employee retirement programs and the reorganization of some of its overseas operations.

The automaker said its fourth-quarter revenue rose to $46 billion, up from $44 billion a year earlier, driven by strong sales of internal combustion vehicles and light-duty trucks.

The company’s division that makes gasoline and hybrid vehicles earned $813 million before interest and taxes in the fourth quarter, and its commercial vehicle division earned $1.8 billion. The unit that makes electric vehicles lost $1.6 billion.

John Lawler, Ford’s chief financial officer, said the company’s fourth-quarter profit was also affected by a prolonged strike by the United Automobile Workers union and higher labor costs resulting from the new contract signed. with the UAW.

“You adjust for those two factors and you see a pretty strong quarter,” Mr. Lawler said on a conference call.

Ford previously said the strike reduced its pretax profit by $1.7 billion in 2023.

Looking ahead, Ford said it expects to make between $10 billion and $12 billion in adjusted earnings before taxes and interest this year.

Speaking to financial analysts, Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley said the company is adjusting its investments in electric cars, with less emphasis on larger vehicles and more on smaller models that will use a low-cost design that Ford is working on.

A small electric vehicle from Ford would most likely compete with a more affordable car that Tesla is expected to introduce in 2025. “The ultimate competition will be affordable Tesla and Chinese automakers,” Mr. Farley said.

Ford reported a profit of $4.3 billion in 2023, compared to a loss of $2 billion in 2022. Revenue in 2023 reached $176 billion, compared to $158 billion in 2022. The company said that its 58,000 UAW employees would receive profit-sharing bonuses of up to $10,400 based on its performance in 2023.

The automaker said it wants to improve its financial performance by investing less in certain areas, such as electric vehicles, while setting higher profit targets for projects in which it still invests. to projects that have credible plans to produce the targeted returns,” Mr. Lawler said in a statement.

Ford shares rose about 6 percent in extended trading following its earnings release.