Ford said it expects production in the second quarter to increase 6% in Europe to 390,000 vehicles, after it dropped 8% to 386,000 units during the first quarter.
Ford sees production in North America will continue to increase, predicting a rise of 9% during the second quarter to 800,000 vehicles, after a jump of 16% to 784,000 units in Q1. Ford made these forecasts as the record pretax profits in North America made the automaker reach a Q1 global net profit of $1.61 billion, an increase of 15%.
Analysts doubt that the automaker will reach any profit in Europe, a region which keeps going downward and where sales dropped 10% in March, accounting for the 18th consecutive decline. Auto sales in Germany fell 17%, the biggest decline among the five largest markets in Europe. Stephen Odell, Ford’s CEO for Europe, that on the contrary, the months of reducing inventory have paid off and now dealers are pressing the company to send them vehicles on not the other way round. Ford just increased Kuga production with 8,000 units, due to increased demand.
Ford has even managed to reach a stability level with its workers at the Genk plant, Belgium, which will be closed. The hourly workers have accepted the proposed separation benefits and salaries workers have agreed to a tentative deal and are expected to vote whether to ratify it or not.
Source: Automotive News