Ford posts $2 billion first-quarter loss due to coronavirus
By Ben Klayman and Nick Carey DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Tuesday posted a $2 billion first-quarter loss due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and said it expected its loss in the second quarter to more than double as it weathers a shutdown of its North American plants. 'We believe the company's cash is sufficient to take us through the end of the year, even with no additional vehicle wholesales or financing actions,' Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone said in a statement.
By Ben Klayman and Nick Carey
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co
"We believe the company's cash is sufficient to take us through the end of the year, even with no additional vehicle wholesales or financing actions," Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone said in a statement.
Ford had preannounced the pandemic-fueled loss earlier this month. That warning came the same day the Dearborn, Michigan-based company raised $8 billion from corporate debt investors.
Last month, Ford moved to hoard cash on its balance sheet, drawing down $15.4 billion from two credit lines and suspending its dividend, in a move to bolster reserves to ride out damage to its business. It also abandoned its 2020 financial forecast.
Virtually all U.S. automotive production ground to a halt in March as the number of COVID-19 infections grew rapidly. However, with President Donald Trump pushing for Americans to get back to work and several U.S. states beginning to reopen their economies, the focus in the auto sector has shifted to when production can be restarted.
Ford, General Motors Co
Last week, the UAW said it was "too soon and too risky" to reopen auto plants in early May.
Ford, whose credit rating has been downgraded to "junk" status by Standard & Poor's, has not said when it plans to reopen in North America. It previously had hoped to resume production in April at plants that make its most profitable vehicles but subsequently backed off those plans.
Ford said Tuesday it will restart most of its European manufacturing starting on May 4. It has already resumed operations in China, where the pandemic began and where sales fell 35% in the first quarter. U.S. sales fell 12.5%.
Prior to the bond deal, Ford told investors that absent new funding and a restart of production, it had cash to last until the end of the third quarter. It also said revenue in the first quarter would finish at about $34 billion.
Ford also warned that production of high-priced versions of pickups and SUVs could be hurt due to damage caused by a tornado at parts supplier BorgWarner Inc's
Once production resumes, the question will be how fast U.S. demand bounces back.
Earlier in April, Ford's U.S. sales chief, Mark LaNeve, told Reuters the automaker believed some level of government stimulus for the U.S. auto sector will be needed for consumers once the pandemic recedes.
During the Great Recession of 2008-09, the U.S. government rolled out a "cash for clunkers" program that offered consumers rebates of up to $4,500 to trade in older gas guzzlers.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Nick Carey in Detroit; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Steve Orlofsky)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.