American multinational automaker, Ford Motors Co, announced on Wednesday that its annual profit increased 65 percent in 2017. The quarterly net profit report, while a noticeable improvement from previous years, had figures that were considered too low by both Ford leadership and investors. According to the report, rising commodity costs and unstable exchange rates will continue to increase raw material prices this year.
For president CEO, Jim Hacket, and Ford chief financial officer, Bob Shanks, stressed the need of improving the company’s fitness, however, they did not provide details on the matter.
“We have to be far fitter than we are, regardless of what the future is,” Shanks told analysts on Wednesday.
The CFO said that higher commodity prices are hurting the automaker more than other rival companies who are within profitable margins.
Hackett and Shanks said that the company spent the last eight months restructuring the business by streamlining the leadership team and increasing production of self-driving and electric vehicles. More so, Ford has shifted investment from passenger cars to trucks and utility vehicles.
Hackett told investors and analysts that he would provide a detailed strategy later this year.
“You just have to stand in line. You have to wait until our people know,” Hackett said.
Ford shares surged to a 12-month high on January 16, however ever since then, the company’s shares have plummeted more than 10 percent to a steady $12 in after-hours trade.
The automaker’s net income came to $7.6 billion in 2017, however, Ford’s automotive branch revealed their pre-tax profit to be at $7.3 billion on $145.7 billion in revenue. Ford announced last year in October that it would shave off $14 billion from materials costs and engineering by 2022.
The company also revealed on Wednesday their plans to roll out 23 new products in 2018, out of which 11 will launch in the U.S. 21 products will be launched in Europe, where Ford gained a pre-tax profit of $234-million last year.
The 2017 pre-tax profits for the Asia-Pacific segment were reported to be at $561 million, with Ford planning to roll out 16 new products in the region.
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