Ford records $2 billion first-quarter loss from shutdown
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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.
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