Ford posted strong quarterly and full-year revenues on Tuesday, beating analyst expectations—despite reporting a net loss for the October through December period—and announcing ambitious financial targets for 2024.
The automaker earned $43.2 billion in automotive revenue for the final quarter of 2023, approximately $3 billion more than forecast and $1.4 billion more than in Q4 2022. Despite this improvement, Ford still recorded a net loss of $526 million for the period. The company was forced to lower its profit guidance late last year due to the United Auto Workers strike and the resulting union contract, which heavily boosted pay and benefits for employees while reintroducing cost of living adjustments.
The car manufacturer’s full-year revenue totaled $176.2 billion, an increase of 11% from 2022. Like other automakers, Ford benefitted from a substantial recovery in inventory, sustained by resumed production following the COVID pandemic. High car prices also helped boost the company’s profit margins, as did aggressive efforts to improve cost efficiency. The auto brand recorded a net annual income of $4.33 billion, representing a massive turnaround from the $2.15 billion loss reported in 2022.
During the automaker’s quarterly earnings call, Ford CEO Jim Farley continued to reign in expectations for the electric vehicle market. Last year, the company said it would delay or cancel up to $12 billion in planned investments that would have heavily increased EV production capacity in the coming years and slashed production targets for the F-150 Lightning electric pickup.
“One of the things we’re taking advantage of in taking some timing delays is rationalizing the level and timing of our battery capacity to match demand and actually reassessing the vertical integration that we’re relying on and betting on new chemistries and capacities,” Farley remarked. Company Chief Financial Officer John Lawler reiterated the CEO’s remarks while adding that the automaker may continue to revise production targets and delay new EV releases “to ensure they meet our criteria for profitability, given the new market reality.”