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Ford, GM Report Yearly Earnings for 2019

Feb. 5, 2020
GM finished the strike-battered year with a slight uptick in profits for the fourth quarter, but Ford’s take was spoiled by a spotty Explorer supply chain.

General Motors Corp released its yearlong earnings for 2019 and fourth quarter results February 5. The Detroit-based auto giant reported $200 million in income for the quarter and $6.7 billion for the year, after a quarterly revenue of $30.8 billion and a yearly revenue of $137.2 billion.

“GM is positioned for strong, long-term business results with a focus on sustainability,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement.

The report notes that the UAW-GM strike lowered “adjusted auto free cash flow” by $5.4 billion,” and reduced adjusted before-interest earnings by $3.6 billion.

GM predicted that its 2020 earnings would be roughly flat from last year without a strike to hamper production. GM also anticipates seeing a boost from its new vehicle launches, which it hopes will offset the macro factor of weak auto demand in general.

Ford’s 2019 was somewhat rougher. The fellow Detroit-based carmaker reported making $155.9 billion in revenue last year, down 3%, coming off a Q4 that saw a net loss of $1.7 billion. Ford attributed the loss to “lower launch-related volumes; higher costs for new products; unfavorable currency exchange; and UAW contract-related costs.”

Among those troubles was Ford’s hobbled Explorer SUV launch. The truck was popular enough with customers—According to Ford, the latest model of the popular SUV is “surpassing sales expectations”—but a troubled rollout of the cars made sales more difficult. In an earnings call, CEO Jim Hackett said Ford had identified the problems with the rollout and was working on executing change.

Ford’s outlook for 2020 includes adjusted cash flow of $2.4 billion to $3.4 billion and adjusted before-tax earnings of $6.6 billion from $5.6, assuming nominal growth in the automotive sector. The earnings report also noted that it is “too early” to estimate what impact the coronavirus outbreak might have on production.

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