COVID-19

Ford records $2 billion first-quarter loss from shutdown

Jack Stewart Apr 29, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
A Ford plant in Michigan. The company plans to restart manufacturing in Europe next week. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
COVID-19

Ford records $2 billion first-quarter loss from shutdown

Jack Stewart Apr 29, 2020
A Ford plant in Michigan. The company plans to restart manufacturing in Europe next week. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Ford lost $2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, the vehicle-maker reported after the markets closed Tuesday. And it expects to lose $5 billion in the second quarter as it deals with shutdowns due to COVID-19.

Like the rest of the automotive industry, Ford is dealing with shuttered production lines and slumping sales. Ford CEO Jim Hackett told investors that pulling the emergency brake on the global economy was impossible to anticipate.

“We didn’t realize there was an off switch,” Hackett said. “We knew it might go into a recession, more like a dimmer switch. But off?”

Since mid-March, Ford has had to shift its focus from building profit-making pickups to making face shields, ambulances and respirators. 

One brighter spot for the company is that there is still demand for its bestselling F-150 truck, and dealers have been able to sell from their inventory, according to Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.

“A lot of people who need trucks, they need trucks regardless of pandemic or not,” Caldwell said.

Ford is going to start gradually bringing its European plants back online next week, with new safety procedures for workers. The company said that could provide a template for restarting in the U.S. 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.