Ford Motor expects to produce 685,000 vehicles in North America during the first quarter of 2008, 55,000 fewer than the first three months of last year, the company said in a report filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ford's automotive sector should generate 2008 pretax results, including special items, that are better than last year, though still a loss, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said in its annual report filed with the SEC.
Results should be boosted by an expected $3 billion improvement in Ford's operating costs for the sector.
"We remain committed to our plan to return to profitability in North America and in our total automotive operations in 2009," Ford said.
The company estimated that U.S. market share for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands in 2008 will be in the low end of a range of 14 percent to 15 percent. Ford's capital spending will be around $6 billion, it said.
In its financial services sector, Ford Credit should be profitable this year but at a lower level than in 2007, according to the report. This is down from the company's outlook of "about equal" announced on Jan. 24.
From 2007 through 2009, Ford Motor anticipates cumulative operating-related cash outflows of $7 billion to $8 billion in its automotive sector and cumulative cash expenditures of $5 billion to $6 billion for personnel "separations."
Ford does not expect the benefits of its recent labor agreement with the United Auto Workers to substantially boost cash flow before 2010.