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Ford Posts Quarterly Loss, Plans to Boost EV Investment

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Ford Motor Co. said today its fourth-quarter loss widened while adding it plans to increase its investment in electric vehicles.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker reported a fourth-quarter deficit of $2.8 billion, or 70 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.7 billion, or 42 cents, for the same period in 2019. Revenue for the quarter slipped to $36 billion from $39.7 billion a year earlier.

Ford said it will invest at least $22 billion on electric vehicles, about double what it had committed previously. The automaker also said it plans to invest $7 billion in autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles.

“We are accelerating all our plans – breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan,” CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. ”People are responding to what Ford is doing today.”

The company has stopped making sedans and is concentrating on pickups and SUVs in its home North American market.

During the quarter, Ford had earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in North America of about $1.1 billion. The region remains Ford’s primary source of profit. Its South American operation posted an EBIT loss of about $105 million, a $71 million improvement from a year earlier. Ford has said it is ceasing manufacturing in Brazil.

The automaker had closed North American plants in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations resumed in May. Ford is ramping up deliveries of new and redesigned models, including the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. The company is looking for new models to boost 2021 results.

Ford said it expects to generate $8 billion to $9 billion in adjusted EBIT for 2021. The company said this year’s results may be affected by a semiconductor shortage that is hitting the global auto industry.

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