On the brink of bankruptcy only one a year ago, Ford has seen an incredible recovery and is expected to report a $1 billion profit for the first quarter tomorrow. This is the largest hint the U.S. auto industry is rebounding more quickly thank expected. The profit announcement follows suite after last week’s announcement of General Motors’ early repayment of $5.8 billion in government aid and Chrysler’s expectation to break even this year.
This time last year Ford was reporting a loss of $1.4 billion in the first quarter, including special charges of $362 million. Surprisingly enough Ford Motors ended the 2009 year with a$2.7 billion profit ending an almost $30 billion dollar loss over the past three years.
“A year ago at this time, we were fearful General Motors would fail and take the whole industry down with it… what a difference a year makes.”
– Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor, told the Free Press on Thursday.
Over the 2008 year the auto industry lost nearly 40,000 jobs. Amid a financial crisis and dwindling economy, reality sunk in for many unemployed workers and empty manufacturing plants. The recovery from where we stood just a year or two years prior is a hard lesson learned for many of the large auto companies. Ford says the auto industry crash and recovery is a cautious reminder of how quickly things can change and how quickly self-satisfaction turns into self-destruction.