Ford Turned a Profit in Tumultuous 2009; Edmunds.com Comments

Ford Turned a Profit in Tumultuous 2009; Edmunds.com Comments


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Ford Turned a Profit in Tumultuous 2009; Edmunds.com Comments

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — January 28, 2010 — Today Ford Motor Co. reported a $2.7-billion profit for 2009, one of the worst years in decades for global vehicle sales and auto company profits. The automaker boldly declared it plans to be profitable for all of 2010.

In 2009, Ford gained market share for the first time since 1995 by posting sales only 15.6 percent lower than 2008, compared with the industry average drop of 21.2 percent.

"Ford's fortunes have vastly improved largely because the company has tackled the basics: building and selling vehicles buyers want, commanding higher prices and collecting higher profit margins against the backdrop of a reduced cost structure," commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs, who analyzed the situation in more detail for AutoObserver.com at http://www.autoobserver.com/2010/01/ford-earns-27-billion-profit-in-tumultuous-2009.html.

In the last quarter of 2009, Ford vehicles took about 44 days to turn — that means it took about 44 days for a Ford vehicle to be sold after being delivered to a dealership. That was below the industry average of 48 and far below Ford's average of about 92 days to turn in the first half of 2009.

Relatively brisk sales and tighter inventories have allowed Ford to lower costly incentives. Ford's incentives in 2009 were only 19.2 percent above the industry average, whereas in 2008, Ford spent 29.7 percent above the industry average, according to Edmunds.com's True Cost of Incentives analysis.

As a result, Ford is discounting the price of its vehicles less. In December, Ford's average discount was 14.4 percent off the sticker price, according to Edmunds.com's analysis; the industry average was 12.4 percent and Ford discounts had been running as high 20 percent in some months during the past year.

"The company is the first of the domestics to really turn around, perhaps because Ford started the process several years ago when its product pipeline was so clearly lacking compared to GM's and Chrysler's," stated Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief. "An automaker does not turn around on a single product; it turns around by introducing a string of successful products. Only a consistent level of quality and design excellence can change consumer perception and convert buyers from other brands, particularly in an atmosphere as competitive as today's automotive market."

Edmunds.com's Brand Interest metric, which looks at customer consideration for new models over a four-week period, shows Ford rose to the number two spot as of January 24, moving ahead of Honda and Chevrolet, which were second and third in the previous four-week period.

About Edmunds Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/)
Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders.
Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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