Ford (F) has revised its outlook to break-even for 2009, backing off a previously set profit target for the year. The U.S. auto giant also said it will be scaling back vehicle production in the U.S. Release:
Lower industry volume, reduced overall production, dramatic model mix shifts away from large trucks and SUVs, and higher commodity costs force a change in Ford’s near-term profit outlook.
Note that Ford reports this model-mix shift as though it were an act of God. Not: “We vastly overestimated demand for our massive gas-guzzling road-hogging land yachts and are now scrambling to produce cars that consumers actually want.”
Ford now expects to be about break-even companywide in 2009 on a pre-tax basis, excluding special items, as North America Automotive profitability is delayed. North America Automotive operations remain on plan to reduce annual operating costs by $5 billion by the end of 2008. Investment in smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles accelerates; further manufacturing capacity realignments planned in line with the introduction of more small cars and crossovers