Automakers Post Big Profits

profits upFord Motor Co. posted fourth-quarter net income of $1.6 billion, carrying the company to its fourth straight full-year profit.

Excluding a large year-earlier extraordinary gain, net in the latest quarter rose 55 percent, powered by strong results in North America. European pretax losses of $732 million dragged down quarterly profits.

Ford said that it will incur higher costs in Europe due to restructuring actions and investments in new vehicles there. It predicted a European loss in 2013 of about $2 billion, vs. an earlier forecast of a loss roughly equal to 2012’s, which came in at $1.75 billion.

Chrysler Group reported net income of $378 million in the fourth quarter as a yearlong string of U.S. sales gains led the automaker to its second consecutive annual profit.

Overall revenues in the latest quarter rose 5 percent to $36.5 billion. Pretax profits, excluding the year-earlier special gains, Chrysler Group reported net income of $378 million in the fourth quarter as a yearlong string of U.S. sales gains led the automaker to its second consecutive annual profit.

The fourth-quarter profit was up 68 percent from the $225 million profit it posted during the same quarter of 2011, Chrysler said in a report today.

For all of 2012, Chrysler earned $1.7 billion, nine times the company’s $183 million profit for 2011, when it repaid the U.S. government loans from its 2009 bankruptcy.

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