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Ford Quarterly Profit Improves on Truck Sales

Ford Motor Co. reported a higher third-quarter profit, paced by truck sales.

Ford (Dearborn, MI), posted a quarterly profit of $1.56 billion, or 39 cents a share, up from $957 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier. Quarterly revenue rose to $33.6 billion from $33.3 billion in 2016’s third quarter.

The automaker said its F-Series pickups recorded a US sales gain of 14% during the quarter compared with the year-earlier period. Also, the average F-Series transaction price was $45,400 per truck, up $2800 from the same period last year. Large pickups are one of the main sources of profit for Ford, General Motors Co. (Detroit) and FCA US LLC (Auburn Hills, MI).

Ford deposed CEO Mark Fields in May, replacing him with Jim Hackett, who previously headed the company’s Smart Mobility unit. Hackett has been charged by Executive Chairman Bill Ford to get the company competitive for a future of autonomous vehicles and electric cars.

Back to the Future

But Ford’s improved quarterly results were more like Back to the Future, with the company relying on its traditional mainstays. In addition to the F-Series, Ford said its sport-utility sales to individual buyers also improved during the quarter. Deliveries to such customers are more profitable than sales to fleets such as car-rental companies.

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