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Ford Posts 7 Percent Loss in First Quarter

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April 28, 2015—Ford Motor Co. reported its first-quarter net income fell 6.6 percent to $924 million as the launch of its aluminum-bodied pickup cut production. Revenue in the quarter fell 5.6 percent to $33.9 billion.

Chief among those new products is the redesigned F-150, which analysts say accounts for a majority of Ford’s profits. The truck went on sale at the end of 2014, but sales have been slow because the plant changeover process has kept it in short supply so far.

F-150 shipments were about 60,000, or 40 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2014, Ford CFO Bob Shanks said. Shipments of the Ford Edge crossover, which also is newly redesigned, were reduced by more than half.

Ford earned $1.34 billion in North America, 11 percent less than the same period a year ago. Operating margins declined from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent. 

The F-150 and other introductions have reduced margins and contributed to a U.S. market share decline. Ford’s U.S. vehicle sales in the first quarter rose 2 percent, but its share fell half a point to 15 percent.

Last week, Ford confirmed plans to cut 700 jobs and eliminate a shift at a small-car plant outside Detroit as low gasoline prices dampen sales of the Focus and C-Max it builds there.

But Ford said it now expects North American margins of 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent for the year, up from earlier guidance of 8 percent to 9 percent, largely because buyers have been choosing more high-priced F-150s than expected.

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