Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is in showrooms now with refreshed styling and new performance ST model, but it's what isn't yet available that should help the Fiesta stand out from the growing crowd of subcompacts. Aside from the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost model coming later this year, Ford recently told us that a new Fiesta SFE trim level is on the way that should put the updated Fiesta at the top of its class for fuel economy.
The new Fiesta SFE will hit an estimated 41 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. The current listing on fueleconomy.gov shows the 2014 Fiesta getting up to 29 mpg city and 39 highway, but the SFE will get minor aero tuning and a recalibrated engine controller to help bump the highway figure past rivals like the Chevrolet Sonic and Nissan Versa - both of which top out at 40-mpg highway. There's still no word as to when the small 1.0-liter EcoBoost will show in the US, but Ford has indicated that engine's fuel economy isn't expected to be released until October.
General Motors isn't the only Detroit automaker posting falling profits in the first quarter. Ford just released its Q1 2014 financial data, and it reported a net income of $989 million, down $622 million from Q1 2013. The drop is partially blamed on higher warranty and recall expenses than the company had anticipated.
Financially, Ford suffered a rough quarter almost across the board. Its pre-tax profit of $1.4 billion was also down $765 million from a year ago. Things were even worse in the North American market where operating profit fell significantly to $1.5 billion, down from $2.392 billion in Q1 2013. However, its global revenue ticked up slightly to $35.9 billion, from $35.6 billion in this period in 2013.
Ford admitted that it spent about $900 million on expenses that it hadn't planned for during this quarter. According to Reuters, the company paid about $400 million in additional warranty and recall costs in North America. The automaker didn't explain why the costs were so much higher than expected. However, in the last three months, Ford has had several recalls, including on the 2001-2004 Escape for rust, Explorer for its steering, Edge for its fuel line and others.
Ford is rolling along nicely, with a positive second-quarter sales report and a $2.3 billion profit in North America. The Dearborn, Michigan-based manufacturer captured $1.2 billion globally from April to June, with a $177 million profit in Asia. Even in Europe, the land of doom and gloom for automakers not named Mazda, Ford saw some success as it lowered its expected full-year loss from $2 billion to $1.8 billion. The company lost $348 million in Europe during the second quarter, which, believe it or not, represents a $56-million improvement over 2012.
According to the report on CNBC, Ford enjoyed a three-percent increase in pre-market trading thanks to the news. The strong demand for the F-150 propelled growth in the US market, while Ford's 47-percent increase in Asian sales can be attributed to the new EcoSport crossover and Kuga (Ford Escape in the US) arriving in the somewhat fragile Chinese market.
Pre-tax profits for Ford are expected to be in the neighborhood of $8 billion by the end of the year, with sales the US, Europe, and China all looking up. The company also shifted $4.78 billion of asset-backed debt in the form of bonds, according to a report by Bloomberg. This move came amidst rumors of the Federal Reserve cutting back on its $85-billion-per-month bond purchases. Ford wasn't alone among automakers looking to sell off debt, though, as Mercedes-Benz and Nissan shifted around $1 billion each in bonds relating to auto loans.