Impact: Ford Australia posts $290m loss image

Ford is having problems in Australia. Despite $102 million of state and federal government support last year, the US based automaker recorded its biggest financial loss in Australia in decades.

The president of Ford Australia, Bob Graziano, said the company was impacted by the payout of 250 factory workers made redundant, the continued decline in demand for Falcon, and limited supply of the Ranger utility that was supposed to be the brand’s bread-winner for the year.

The previous worst result on record was in 2008 when the company reported a loss of $274 million; it posted modest profits of $13 million in 2009 and $26 million in 2010.
Ford admits it may be the company’s worst financial loss.

The company retrenched 250 workers at its Broadmeadows factory last year and reduced production to 209 vehicles a day to clear a backlog that had one point fill the factory’s grounds with unwanted vehicles.

Globally, Ford’s net income fell 45 percent to $1.4 billion in the first quarter. Ford took a beating from plummeting European sales and weaker results in Asia and South America. It also started paying more in taxes.

Ford forecasts that its European unit will suffer a full-year loss anywhere from 500 million to 600 million dollars, while its Asia Pacific Africa division is expected to return to profitability by the end of the year.
In the United States, Ford expects its 2012 market share to be lower than the 2011 level of 16.5 percent, and forecasts sales of 14.5 million to 15 million vehicles for the year.