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How Ford Makes Money: Selling Vehicles, Financing Services

Ford Motor Co. (F), based in 1919 by Henry Ford, is a pacesetter within the international automotive trade. Ford designs, manufactures, sells, and providers a full line of vehicles, vehicles, and utility autos. The corporate additionally presents a broad vary of monetary providers to help automotive sellers and car gross sales. The corporate at the moment is concentrated on boosting electrical automotive manufacturing, mobility providers, and self-driving expertise. Ford has operations worldwide and employs about 186,000 folks globally. Ford’s rivals embrace established car corporations akin to Basic Motors Co. (GM) and Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) in addition to newer entrants akin to electrical car makers Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and China-based NIO Inc. (NIO).

Key Takeaways

  • Ford is an automotive firm that sells vehicles, vehicles, and sports activities utility autos. It additionally gives car service and financing.
  • The overwhelming majority of the corporate’s income comes from automotive gross sales.
  • Mobility is the smallest working phase by income, but additionally the fastest-growing.
  • Ford Credit score was the one working phase to report optimistic earnings for the latest quarter, as measured by earnings earlier than curiosity and taxes (EBIT).
  • Ford introduced in September 2021 a complete of $11.4-billion in investments in two U.S. websites that can deal with electrical car (EV) manufacturing and batteries.

Ford’s Financials

Ford’s most up-to-date earnings report was for Q2 2021, ended June 30, 2021. The corporate posted internet revenue of $553 million, down considerably from internet revenue of $1.1 billion for the prior-year quarter. Regardless of that, Ford reported company-wide adjusted earnings earlier than curiosity and taxes (EBIT) of $1.1 billion in Q2 2021 in comparison with adjusted EBIT of -$1.9 billion in the identical quarter a 12 months earlier. The corporate’s whole income for Q2 2021 was $26.8 billion, up 38.1% year-over-year (YOY) as gross sales started to get better from the key disruptions to the financial system brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic starting in early 2020. All through the pandemic, Ford’s enterprise has been negatively affected by manufacturing suspensions and the worldwide semiconductor provide scarcity. After suspending manufacturing at amenities world wide in March 2020, Ford returned to regular manufacturing schedules in June of that 12 months.

Ford’s Enterprise Segments

Ford operates by means of three enterprise segments: Automotive, Mobility, and Ford Credit score. The corporate breaks out income and adjusted EBIT for every phase. EBIT is a measure of profitability calculated as revenue minus bills excluding tax and interest. Moreover, Ford experiences company governance bills, curiosity revenue, and positive factors and losses from investments below a fourth class, Company Different, though this isn’t thought-about an working phase.


Ford earns the overwhelming majority of its income by promoting autos, service components, and equipment world wide below the Ford and Lincoln manufacturers. The automotive phase contains revenues and prices associated to improvement, manufacture, distribution, service, and electrification car packages. It additionally sells autos wholesale to sellers and distributors in 5 main geographical segments: North America, South America, Europe, China (together with Taiwan), and Worldwide Markets Group.

With Q2 2021 revenues of $24.1 billion, Ford’s Automotive phase accounted for 90.2% of revenues for Q2 2021. Automotive revenues grew by 45.1% YOY in that quarter, the second-fastest price amongst Ford’s three working segments. Nevertheless, the Automotive phase reported a loss for Q2 2021, measured by adjusted EBIT, of -$95 million. That was a dramatic enchancment from -$2.1 billion EBIT in the identical quarter a 12 months earlier.

For Q2 2021, Ford’s adjusted EBIT for its Automotive enterprise in North America and Worldwide Markets Group have been every optimistic, whereas its adjusted EBIT for the Automotive operations in South America, Europe, and China have been all adverse. Mixed, Automotive adjusted EBIT for South America, Europe, and China totaled -$493 million for the quarter.


Ford’s Mobility phase contains improvement prices for the event and manufacturing of autonomous autos. It additionally contains Ford’s fairness possession of Argo AI, a developer of autonomous driving methods, and investments in Spin, a micro-mobility service supplier.

Mobility is the smallest of Ford’s segments by income. It generated simply $21 million of income for Q2 2021, or about 0.1% of whole quarterly income. It was the fastest-growing phase by income, tripling YOY for that interval, although that progress was off of a particularly small base. Mobility reported adjusted EBIT of -$182 million for Q2 2021, an enchancment from -$286 million in the identical quarter a 12 months earlier.

Ford Credit score

The Ford Credit score phase is comprised of the corporate’s vehicle-related financing and leasing operations. The corporate presents quite a lot of automotive financing merchandise to and thru sellers worldwide. A lot of the Ford Credit score enterprise entails financing of autos, supporting vendor operations, and lease contracts.

Ford Credit score posted quarterly income of $2.6 billion for Q2 2021, or roughly 9.7% of whole revenues. This determine was down by 5.0% YOY, making Ford Credit score the one one of many firm’s working segments to see declining revenues YOY for the quarter. Regardless of that, Ford Credit score generated adjusted EBIT of $1.6 billion in Q2 2021, almost tripling YOY, because it benefited from the rebound in car gross sales in comparison with a 12 months earlier. It was the one working phase to report optimistic adjusted EBIT within the quarter.

In the course of the quarter, Ford Credit score benefited from an traditionally low loss-to-receivables (LTR) ratio, which displays low losses and powerful internet recoveries. Ford Credit score’s U.S. public sale values additionally have been 39% greater than a 12 months in the past, reflecting strong demand for used vehicles.

Ford’s Current Developments

Beneath the management of Chief Government Officer (CEO) Jim Farley since fall of 2020, Ford has closely prioritized electrical autos and associated applied sciences. In Could 2021, the corporate introduced that it aimed to be a pacesetter in electrical autos and related providers. Ford anticipates that 40% of its international car quantity will probably be absolutely electrical by 2030 and plans to spend greater than $30 billion on electrification and battery improvement by 2025. On Sept. 27, 2021, Ford introduced a collection of steps to extend its electrical car expertise and manufacturing. Ford will create a 6-square-mile campus in Tennessee to construct the following era of F-Collection electrical pickup vehicles and superior batteries. Ford additionally will construct twin battery crops in Kentucky. The corporate plans to speculate $11.4 billion within the two websites, creating about 11,000 new jobs.

Additionally in September, the corporate introduced a partnership with retail large Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Argo AI to launch an autonomous car supply service in choose markets within the U.S. The service goals to make use of Ford self-driving autos to ship Walmart orders to clients. This launch is an early effort in what Ford describes as “large-scale autonomous car operations throughout a broad footprint of U.S. cities.”

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