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Auto blogThu, 24 Oct 2013 13:28:00 EST
Ford took in $2.6 billion in pre-tax profits in the third quarter of the year, making for a record trio of months that saw the Blue Oval's year-over-year earnings increase by $426 million. The earnings are being attributed not just to improvements in North American sales, but sales around the globe.
Revenue was up 12 percent, to $36 billion, although net income took a hit, dropping $359 million to $1.3 billion. Ford was dinged with $498 million in pre-tax charges, which are being blamed for the drop in net income.
The news has boosted Ford's hopes for full-year results, bumping it's total profits up past $8 billion, according to Automotive News. The Dearborn, MI-based manufacturer is still expecting a loss in Europe, although it's forecasted less than the $1.73 billion it burned in 2012. In fact, according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford's European losses dropped by 51 percent year-over year, a huge improvement for the brand.
Autocar has some sour news for fans of go-fast Ford products. According to Roelant de Waard, Ford's president of marketing in Europe, the automaker will probably never offer more than one RS performance model for sale at the same time. That statement runs contrary earlier rumblings that suggested Ford would launch its next-generation Focus RS in 2015 and follow the hatch with a spate of other vehicles with an RS badge. But de Waard has made it clear that Ford of Europe is now focused on squarely on the next Mustang, even though there may be more RS models on the way eventually.
"What is clear is that the RS shouldn't be a series, or a car badge that we have in our portfolio all the time. It is an extreme car - something more than ST," he said.
That philosophy makes plenty of sense. We loved the old Focus RS - shown above in RS500 trim - because it was generally bonkers and plenty exclusive. Diluting either aspect is sure to end in disappointment for everyone involved.
Ford's highly influential head of design, J Mays, has announced that he'll be retiring from his position after 33 years in the industry, 16 of which were at the Dearborn, MI-based company. Upon departure, he'll be succeeded as group vice president of design by Moray Callum. If that last name sounds familiar, yes, he's the brother of Jaguar's Ian Callum.
It's difficult to explain just how big of a role Mays had on not just Ford's design over the years, but on the entire industry. Before heading to Dearborn, Mays worked for Audi, BMW and then Volkswagen, where he was involved in concept cars that paved the way for design icons like the first-generation Audi TT and the Volkswagen New Beetle. As for his Ford resume, it's extensive.
Mays joined the company in 1997 as design director for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda, as well as the Premier Automotive Group (Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin). He was heavily involved in the Ford Fusion, Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, F-150 and Mustang, while also contributing to concept cars like the Atlas, Evos, 427, Forty-Nine, Shelby GR-1, Lincoln MKZ and the MKC.