Ford prepares for truck change but wants to keep US profit up image

The American company wants to maintain record earnings in its home region next year as analysts forecast the transition to the new F-Series pickups could slash production, according to the automaker’s president for North America.

Large-pickup production could slip 8.5 % in 2014, Barclays Plc said in a report, commenting on an estimate from researcher IHS Automotive. The F-Series line has been the best seller pickup in the US for more than thirty years and brings the bulk of the company’s North American earnings.

“Sustaining our profitability, our market share growth, keeping our lineup the freshest in the industry, those are all important goals,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in an interview. “We want to continue to sustain the performance we’ve been having in North America.”

Ford, the second-biggest U.S. automaker, skirmishes with rivals GM and Chrysler to keep pickups attractive as the trucks earn higher margins than other vehicles. Large pickups return $8,000 to $10,000 each in gross profit, Morgan Stanley estimates. The F-Series sales lead over GM and Chrysler pickups has been growing in 2013 even as the competitors introduced refreshed models in the past year.

Ford hasn’t yet confirmed that new F-Series pickups would be introduced in 2014 but promised to say more about its plans for the following year “over the next couple months,” Hinrichs said.

Via Bloomberg