DEARBORN - “What a year,” said President and CEO Alan Mulally as he opened up the Global Town Hall to discuss fourth-quarter financials at Ford World Headquarters.
Closing out 2011, Ford improved the total company pre-tax operating profit, automotive operating-related cash flow and had a significant profit contribution from Ford Credit.
Ford reported fourth-quarter net income of $13.6 billion, an increase of $13.4 billion from the fourth quarter of 2010 and a full year 2011 net income of $20.2 billion.
"This has really solidified our corporate structure and our balance sheet so that we're on solid footings going forward," he said. "Just fantastic results from everyone across our entire Ford family."
Compared to 2010, Ford Credit brought in $906 million more than the plan that was laid out - resulting in $3 billion contribution to the parent company.
As expected, Ford Credit's fourth quarter pretax operating profit decreased due to fewer lease terminations and related vehicles sold at a gain. They reported pretax operating profit of $506 million this quarter, compared to $572 million in last year’s fourth quarter. The overall 2011 pre-tax operating profit was $2.4 billion, compared with a profit of $3.1 billion a year ago.
Marking a milestone to strengthen the balance sheet and instill profitable growth, this is the first time since 1970 where Ford had three consecutive years of higher U.S. market share.
In North America the reported a pretax operating profit was $889 million for the quarter, increasing from $670 million last year. For the full year, North America reported a pretax operating profit of $6.2 billion, compared with a profit of $5.4 billion a year ago. While South America, Europe and Asia Pacific Africa took loses.
"We know what's going on, we're dealing with is decisively and it's going to be okay," Mulally commented. "We need to continue to deal with the current reality, which is going to be slow and it could slow down a little more, but at the same time we cant slow down on the products."
But even during the worst of economic times, Ford is continuing to invest in the future growth and sustainability with a stronger product lineup and global initiatives that will move the company forward.
"We're going from a place where we were going out of business to a place where we have a plan now growing business profitably," he said.
During the employee question and answer section of the Town Hall, Mulally discussed how the company is going further with the One Ford plan by evolving and adapting new technologies that not only make Ford a leading car company, but front runners in developing ground-breaking technologies.
“The best thing that we can do is help everybody understand the power of technology and what we can bring,” said Mulally. “Seamlessly connecting to the Internet but doing everything while removing distractions is the right way.”
When another employee asked about the electrification strategy, Mulally said the key is to continue to provide customers with what they want, while being the most affordable on the market.
Geared up and ready for a profitable 2012, Ford remains focused on following through with the key aspects of the One Ford plan.
“What an unbelievable year,” said Mulally, as he thanked the Ford team for contributing to the years success. “The natural disasters, the economy slowing down, the suppliers coming back from a really fragile position; we did it because of Ford and the One Ford plan. We’re going to get back on track and we’re going to get back to developing the company for the good of all of us. It’s an honor serving with you and thank you so much.”