As U.S. auto sales continue to increase, Ford Motor Co. posted a record first-quarter net income of $1.61 billion, a 15 percent increase from a year earlier.
Although Ford’s overall pre-tax operating profit decreased 6 percent to $2.1 billion from the first quarter of 2012, the automaker’s pretax operating profit in North America reached $2.44 billion. The pretax operating profits in North America, which increased by 14 percent from a year earlier, are the highest recorded since at least 2000, according to the company.
The decrease in overall pre-tax operating profit is partially due to losses in Europe and South America, Ford said.
Ford’s U.S. sales rose 11 percent through March in a market that advanced 6 percent, boosting its market share to 16.2 percent, according to sales reports.
Ford’s gains have come from its redesigned core Ford Division products such as the Explorer, Fusion and Escape, as well as incremental volume from the all-new C-Max, according to Polk, an automotive insight and marketing firm.
Ford’s 2013 outlook for North America remains unchanged. The company expects its strong performance to continue, with pre-tax profit expected to be higher than 2012.