Ford Motor Co made $2.7bn (£1.7bn) in 2009, compared with a loss of almost $15bn in 2008, and said it expects to be profitable in 2010 as well. For the final three months of 2009, the company made $868m, which is a dramatic improvement on the $6bn loss it made a year earlier.
Ford revealed its return to profitability was in part due to cutting costs and reducing debt levels. Ford employed 89,000 people in the US at the start of 2009, but that number dropped to about 80,000 through buyouts and layoffs by the end of the year.
The importance of cutting costs was highlighted by the fact that revenue for the full year was actually down at $118.3bn, $19.8bn less than in 2008.
The carmaker’s big rivals General Motors and Chrysler, which together with Ford make up the so-called Detroit Three, both took billions of dollars in state aid and went into bankruptcy protection last summer, whereas Ford did not and the good will as a result is serving them well, according to analysts.
“While we still face significant challenges ahead, 2009 was a pivotal year for Ford and the strongest proof yet that our One Ford plan is working and that we are forging a path toward profitable growth,” said Ford president and chief executive Alan Mulally.