Ford’s Profits Drop Due to Warranty, Weather-Related Costs

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Ford Motor Co. reported a first-quarter net income of $989 million, down 39 percent from the same period a year ago, a result of higher warranty and weather-related costs, officials said today.

Despite the dip, Ford’s president and CEO Alan Mulally says the company had a solid quarter. “We are on track with our most aggressive product launch schedule in our history,” he says, alluding to the automaker’s plan to launch 23 new global vehicles this year.

“Our One Ford plan continues to deliver as we serve customers in more markets around the world with a full family of vehicles committed to best-in-class quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”

The automaker is also is in the process of amending and extending its revolving credit facility, which is expected to grow to about $12 billion, from $10.7 billion, after its anticipated completion at the end of this month. Ford plans to allocate $2 billion of the facility to Ford Credit to support its liquidity.

IN OTHER AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, General Motors Co. announced today the nomination of Joe Ashton, vice president of the UAW, to its board of directors. If elected, Ashton, who plans to retire from his current position in June, will begin his board term in August.

“Joe brings a wealth of knowledge from his work across many industries, especially his deep understanding how labor strategy can contribute to a company’s success,” says GM Chairman Tim Solso.

Ashton and Steve Girsky, formerly GM vice chairman, will stand for election at GM’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 10. The election of the board’s slate of nominees would bring the board to 12 members, 10 of whom are non-employee directors.

“Steve has 25 years of experience in the automotive sector and has served the GM board well,” Solso says. “Because of his extensive experience with the company, his expertise will continue to be invaluable to GM.”

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