30 Jan 2012

Big profit for Ford

9:32 am on 30 January 2012

Ford has reported a surge in profits due to a massive tax credit and strong sales in the United States.

The American car company made $US20.2 billion in 2011, treble the $US6.5 billion it made the previous year.

Chief executive Alan Mullally says natural disasters around the world weighed heavily on earnings.

He told the BBC that the floods in Thailand were a major disruption to production in Asia Pacific and meant the company made a small loss in the region.

Mr Mullally also said the company would reduce production in Europe to meet the lower demand that has resulted from the economic slowdown.

The BBC reports Ford sold 693,000 cars and trucks, up 78,000 a year ago, in the fourth quarter in wholesale in North America.

Fourth quarter sales in Europe fell by 6000 to 391,000 vehicles due to the debt crisis and slow growth.

Ford and General Motors both reported record car sales in China for 2011.