Ford Motor Company released its first-quarter earnings on May 2, posting a net income of $1.8 billion to reverse a $3.1 billion loss a year earlier.
First-quarter revenue was $41.5 billion, up 20 percent from the same period a year ago, on shipments approaching 1.1 million vehicles – a 9-percent increase – as well as a more favorable sales mix and higher net pricing. Ford ended the quarter with margins of 8.1 percent, up 1.4 percentage points.
CEO Jim Farley noted that the first quarter of organizing around and running the company on behalf of distinct customer groups – Ford Blue, Ford Model e, and Ford Pro – produced "solid operating results and a glimpse of the promise of its Ford+ growth plan."
However, not all of Ford's new divisions were in the black in Q1 2023. The Model e EV business unit, which Ford says it operates like a startup, posted a loss of $722 million. The Ford Blue gasoline-powered business posted a $2.6 billion profit, while the Ford Pro commercial vehicle unit made $1.36 billion.
Ford reaffirmed its full-year guidance as it recovers from global supply chain shortages, noting that it expects losses from the Model e EV business to rise nearly 50 percent to $3 billion this year.
Gallery: Ford creates distinct auto units for EVs and ICEs: Ford Model e and Ford Blue
Ford previously said it is investing heavily in Model e to develop innovative electric vehicles along with breakthrough digital capabilities for deployment across the company’s entire product line.
Production interruptions of the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning also contributed to the Q1 2023 loss for Model e. Ford had to make industrial changes at the plant in Mexico that will nearly double Mach-E manufacturing capacity and had to isolate and address a battery issue for the Lightning before it became a problem for customers.
Besides boosting capacity for the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, Ford Model e will also build its next-generation electric pickup at the BlueOval City complex now under construction in Stanton, Tennessee.
The company is also transforming an existing operation in Oakville, Ontario to produce batteries and next-generation EVs, and constructing and staffing an LFP battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.
Ford plans to achieve a global production run rate of 600,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2023 and more than two million by the end of 2026. The all-electric Explorer crossover unveiled in March that will be built and sold in Europe will contribute to that.
Ford no longer breaks down results by regions but by its new business units, and Model e includes Ford EVs from all global markets.