The pendulum swings to the U.S.: As expected, Ford turned in higher-than-expected first-quarter profits today, while in Germany, Daimler’s formerly pornographic profits were slashed in half, and Volkswagen stubbornly maintained its outlook despite declining profits.
Ford’s North American unit posted its best quarter in more than a decade on the strength of new models, Reuters says. Revenue in North America shot up by one-fifth during the quarter. Ford reported a pretax profit of $2.1 billion, or 41 cents per share for the quarter, down from about $2.3 billion a year earlier, but better than analysts expected. Ford says it expects to lose $2 billion in Europe this year.
Meanwhile in Germany, Daimler ditched its earnings forecast after its first-quarter profit plunged more than half, brought on by a protracted slump Europe and problems in China, Reuters says.
In Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s first quarter earnings declined to 2.34 billion euros ($3.05 billion) from 3.16 billion a year ago. VW is bracing for “increasingly stiff competition in a challenging market environment,” Reuters reports. Nevertheless, Volkswagen sees no reason to change its goals to match last year’s record operating profit of 11.5 billion euros and to push global deliveries to new record levels.