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Ford posts best-ever quarterly results

by Drew Johnson

Ford had a record-setting Q3.

Thanks to brisk sales of its higher-margin vehicles in the United States, Ford has posted its best quarterly results in company history.

Ford announced on Tuesday that third quarter pretax profits shot up 89 percent to $2.7 billion. That figure is the highest quarterly profit recorded in the company's long history. Ford pocketed a net income of $1.9 billion, up from $833 million during Q3 of 2014.

Fatter operating margins were a large part of Ford's success during the quarter. The automaker's operating margins checked in at 11.3 percent during the period, up from 7.1 percent during the same period a year prior.

"The Ford team delivered an outstanding quarter -- with record third quarter profit, best quarter ever for North America, higher wholesales, higher revenue, higher market share and improved margin,” said CEO Mark Fields. "We are delivering a breakthrough year.”

After a sluggish start, Ford's new F-Series line had its best third quarter in nearly a decade. Sales at Ford's Lincoln luxury brand were also up 15 percent during the period.

North America was easily the brightest spot in Ford's portfolio, with the region pulling in $2.7 billion in pre-tax income. Europe remains a weak point, with the division losing $182 million on a pre-tax basis. That compares to a $257 million pre-tax profit in Q3 of 2014.

In South America Ford posted a $163 million loss compared to a $7 million profit last year. Ford's Asia Pacific arm went from a $24 million loss in 2014 to a pre-tax profit of $20 million in 2015.

Ford isn't expecting a repeat performance during the fourth quarter due to costs associated with an upcoming UAW contract.

Photo by Mark Elias.

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