CHICAGO Ford Motor Co.
will continue to invest in the United States and other parts of
North America as auto sales increase and as its market share
rises incrementally, executives say.
"In the U.S., we continue to add
jobs, announcing an investment of $200 million and the addition
of 450 jobs starting in 2014 as part of our plan to move
EcoBoost engine production for North America to Cleveland from
Valencia, Spain," president and chief executive officer Alan
Mulally said during Fords earnings conference call.
"North America experienced very
strong growth in the first quarter, with wholesale volume up 17
percent from a year ago and revenue improving 20 percent,"
executive vice president and chief financial officer Robert L.
Shanks said. "The volume improvement mainly reflects higher
U.S. industry sales, increasing from 14.5 million to 15.6
million units; favorable changes in dealers stocks; and
higher U.S. market share."
Fords North American
pretax profit of $2.4 billion was a company record for any
The automaker projects 2013
global gross domestic product growth of 2 to 3 percent, with
worldwide industry sales of 80 million to 85 million units. The
U.S. economy is forecast to grow 2 to 2.5 percent, with
industry sales supported by continuing improvement in the
housing sector and replacement demand as vehicles age.
"We expect full-year industry
volume to range from 15 million to 16 million units in the
United States, Europe to be 13 million to 13.5 million (units)
and China to range from 19.5 million to 21.5 million units. We
project full-year market share to increase compared with 2012
in the United States and China, and to be about equal to last
year in Europe," the company said. "Overall, we expect 2013 to
be another strong year for Ford Motor Co. as we continue to
work towards our mid-decade guidance."
The Dearborn, Mich.-based
automaker will continue to invest in manufacturing capacity and
people "because we believe we have great growth opportunities
not only in places like Asia/Pacific and some of the other
growing markets of the world but here in North America,"
Mulally said, adding that the types of new products Ford is
making are gaining acceptance. "We think its the right
call to make to continue to invest in future growth."
The company earlier this week
posted first-quarter net income of $1.61 billion, up 15.4
percent year on year, on sales that grew 10.5 percent to $35.8
amm.com, April 24).