30 Jan 2009

Ford loses $US5.9 billion

6:05 am on 30 January 2009

Ford Motor Co has announced a quarterly loss of $US5.9 billion, but says it has "sufficient liquidity" to fund its turnaround plan without federal aid.

Vehicle sales in the United States fell 18% last year to their lowest level since 1992 and are forecast to fall by up to three million vehicles this year to between 10.5 and 12 million units.

But Ford said on Thursday that unlike GM and Chrysler, it has enough cash to keep operating as it executes a restructuring plan.

Ford's loss in the fourth quarter was more than double the deficit in the same period in 2007 of $US2.8 billion. Revenues were down 33% to $US29.2 billion in the period, amid weak sales and the divesting of its Jaguar division.

For all of 2008, Ford posted a loss of $US14.57 billion compared with a $US2.7 billion loss in all of 2007.

Revenues for the year fell to $US146 billion from $US172 billion.

GM and Chrysler have been granted $US13.4 billion in government loans in order to keep their operations going amid the sudden downturn.

After initially requesting a $US9 billion line of credit, Ford later told Congress it had sufficient cash on hand to get through the sales slump.