Ford of Europe’s second quarter profit dominates headlines in the European press this week. There’s also new of a Ford Fiesta Sales record in the U.K.
Bloomberg (Europe) reports: Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, posted profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales in China increased and the company reported its first profit in Europe in three years. Ford reported its 21st consecutive profitable period, with net income of $1.3 billion, or 32 cents a share, compared with $1.23 billion, or 30 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement today. Excluding one-time costs, second-quarter profit was 40 cents a share, beating the 36-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. North American operations also reported record pre-tax results. Rising sales in China and Europe helped to offset the negative effects of a currency crisis in Venezuela, as well as higher taxes and increased costs to introduce 23 new models worldwide this year. Ford sales in China soared 35 percent in the year’s first half to a record 549,256 vehicles, while deliveries rose 6.6 percent in Europe, which is recovering from a deep recession. Ford has said profits will decline this year as it spends to roll out new models such as the aluminium-bodied F-150 pickup, its top seller.
The Daily Telegraph Online (UK) writes: Ford’s European arm has motored ahead of expectations, delivering its first quarterly profit since sales fell off a cliff three years ago.
It is only $14m into the black but this slender profit marked a dramatic improvement on the $348m loss Ford’s European division clocked up last year. Revenues rose by nearly a 10th, as confidence in the European economy buoyed demand for its Ford Focus and Mondeo cars. Profits were also lifted by the closure of a factory in Belgium, and a $283m reduction in the cost of raw materials, helped by favourable exchange rates. Ford had predicted that it would take until 2015 for its European division to return to health, after the eurozone crisis shattered consumer confidence in 2011 and led to a dramatic decline in car sales. However, the company turned a corner earlier than expected, helping to push overall profits up 6pc to $2.6bn. Group revenues edged down 1pc to $37.4bn.
Turbo.Fr (France) runs this UK Fiesta sales success story: Appearing in six generations since 1976, the Ford Fiesta is the best-selling vehicle of all time in the United Kingdom with 4.115 million registrations. It has dethroned another Ford, the Escort (1968-2000), which sold 4.106 million copies. Britain is the promised land for the Ford Fiesta. Every quarter or so, its sales reach a new record level. Now, the Blue Oval’s small car has surpassed a historic milestone. On Wednesday, it became the UK’s best-selling car of all time. The Fiesta was sold this year with a facelift unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
The Sun (Scotland) also goes big on Fiesta’s success: The Ford Fiesta has a better track record than Usain Bolt or Mo Farah — it's now the UK's best-selling car. Ford celebrated its partnership and launch of the Commonwealth Games yesterday by announcing the Fiesta had overtaken the Escort as Britain's most popular motor. It has sold 4,115,000 since 1976, overtaking the Ford Escort which notched up 4,105,961 registrations from 1968 to 2000.
It has a remarkable record since arriving in '76. Now in its seventh generation, the Fiesta nameplate has led the small car segment in the UK for 27 of its 37-year lifespan, and has been our best-selling car year-on-year since 2009 when it overtook yet another Ford, the Focus. This latest record for the American manufacturer ends the Escort's 14-year reign on top of the all-time British sales chart, set after 32 years of production between 1968 and 2000. In terms of sales, more than 40 per cent of UK buyers today opt for the turbocharged 1litre EcoBoost engine, with nine in 10 selecting one of the higher trim levels — including Titanium, Titanium X and flagship ST models although the most popular is the midrange Zetec spec. \I'm one of those four million owners having driven an XR2 as a teenager. Since then the Fiesta has become part of the UK's heritage alongside fish and chips, roast beef and football.