Ford Surprises With Billion-Dollar Profit

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Great news for Ford Motor Company (Stock Quote: F). As our sister site TheStreet.com reported this morning, Ford “roared past estimates, reporting fourth quarter net income of $997 million.”

The government’s Cash for Clunkers program, which has recently come under fire for costing taxpayers an estimated $24,000 per vehicle sold, is credited with helping lift Ford’s numbers — along with a smart “reduced cost structure” strategy. In addition, the company did not take any government bailout money. And it probably bears mentioning that Ford is the only large U.S. automaker that hasn’t filed for bankruptcy this year.

John Lutman, general manager at Koons Ford of Annapolis, says many customers like the fact that Ford “didn’t take any money” from the government. He says customers are also drawn to Ford’s “great fuel efficiency” and expects that the positive profit news will only increase awareness of Ford vehicles, hopefully drawing more people into showrooms. Lutman says that customers in his showroom are especially excited about the redesigned Ford Taurus model, which sports new EcoBoost technology. EcoBoost is a "Ford technology that reduces emissions and increases power with lower displacement via turboboosting and direct gasoline injection," according to Jalopnik. When asked if he thought the positive earnings report would directly boost Ford sales, Lutman didn't say.

It is worth noting, however, that we recently reported on how Ford is benefitting from a strong brand presence. Experian Automotive came out with its list of the 10 vehicles with the strongest brand loyalty; six of them were Fords.

Here’s to a nice quarter, Ford! That 41 mpg Hybrid version of the 2010 Ford Fusion doesn’t look bad either.

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