Ford said Wednesday that it had net income in the second quarter of $561 million, or a number better than the expected three months ago when it said that the chip shortage might cut production in April, May, and June by up to 50 percent. What might be bad times for anyone buying a Ford are good times for Ford itself.
Ford also credited something called Ford+, which is a “growth plan” which seems primarily pitched to investors on Wall Street. Ford is a tech company now, you see, what with its electric vehicles and its autonomy plans and its over-the-air updates in cars and its plans for more mobile repair service. Don’t ever let it be said that Tesla didn’t fundamentally change the auto industry, and, yes, Ford would love it if investors started valuing it even close to what they do Elon Musk’s company.
“Ford+ is about creating distinctive products and services, always-on customer relationships and user experiences that keep improving,” Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “And it’s already happening – there are great examples everywhere you turn at Ford, and the benefits for our customers and company will really stack up over time.”
Ford says its Ford+ achievements include: The introduction of the Mustang Mach-E; the announcement of the Maverick; the announcement of the F-150 Lightning; Blue Oval, Ford’s proprietary vehicle software; and its collaboration with Lyft and Argo. You will notice this is just a list of things that Ford (sans +) has done recently. Ford also said that it surprised itself with its profit this quarter.
In fact, Ford did better than expected, leveraging strong demand to optimize revenue and profits through lower incentives and a favorable mix of vehicles, which generated companywide adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $1.1 billion.
That is all business-speak for “if you wanted a new Ford in the past three months, and many of you did, Ford absolutely had you over a barrel. Also it seems we only have the expensive Fords in stock, interesting.”
Anyway, if you’re wondering why Lincoln is still around:
The Lincoln brand continued to play a major role in improved company performance in China, recording its highest ever quarterly retail sales in Q2. Ninety-seven percent of Lincoln’s volume is now made in-country, lowering production costs. In fact, Lincoln ranked No. 1 in JD Power’s 2021 China Sales Satisfaction Index Study, unseating Audi, which had held the top spot for 11 years.
Ford now thinks it’ll make up to $10 billion for the full year 2021. The company says production capacity will come back and provide some gains but that commodity prices — raw materials — will probably go up as well, offsetting some of the production gains. Still, Ford is optimistic.
Exiting the second quarter, the combined U.S. customer-sold retail order bank for Mustang Mach-E and other Ford vehicles was seven times larger than at the same point in 2020. With additional current and anticipated demand for models including the Bronco SUV and, later, Maverick and F-150 Lightning pickups, Farley said the business is “spring loaded” for a rebound when semiconductor supplies stabilize and more closely match demand.
Ford is valued at around $55 billion, while Tesla is valued at over ten times that.