By Jeff Gilbert

By Jeff Gilbert
@jefferygilbert

DEARBORN (WWJ) – Weaker profits will mean weaker profit-sharing at Ford. The checks will average $6,900, off from record payments of $8,800 last year.

“Last year was a record year,” said Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks. “But, 6900 dollars is still a good result, and we expect to do better than that in 2015.”

This comes as Ford posted a weaker profit overall for 2014, $3.2 billion.

“2014 was a solid, yet challenging year for Ford — with our investments and a record number of new products launched around the world positioning us for strong growth this year and beyond,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields.

Ford was hit with a number of one time charges, involving recalls and currency issues in Venezuela. That pushed fourth quarter earnings down to $52 million. Pre-tax profit was $1.1 billion. Ford’s pre-tax profit for the year was $6.3 billion.

Ford projects that it will be able to increase that pre-tax profit to between $8.5 and $9.5 billion in 2015, as new models come on line.

“The entire Ford team remains focused on our three priorities of accelerating our One Ford plan, delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of the business,” said Fields.

The profit-sharing numbers are based on North American earnings of $6.9 billion. Those earnings were down from $8.8 billion in 2013.

Ford also earned money in its Asia-Pacific region, $589 million, but lost money in the rest of the world. Ford posted a $1.2 billion loss in South America and a $1 billion loss in Europe.

Ford expects its 2015 profits to be helped by a full year of profitable new products, including the new F-150 pickup, and improvements in European operations.

“It was a solid, but challenging year,” said CFO Bob Shanks, in summing up 2014. “It did do exactly what we talked about and expected, to set us up for a very strong 2015.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles
Twitter: @jefferygilbert

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