Fleet News

Third quarter brings mixed fortunes for world's biggest manufacturers

THE world's two largest vehicle manufacturers - General Motors and Ford - have reported contrasting third quarter 1998 results. While Ford's third quarter profits topped $1 billion, despite losses in Europe, General Motors, Vauxhall's parent company, reported a loss of $809 million (1997 profit of $973) on sales of $34.4 billion (£40.2 billion) after tax, but the company is expecting strong results in the final quarter.

General Motors is the world's largest vehicle manufacturer and it attributed the losses to summer strikes at two of its American plants. However, GM Europe made a profit of $50 million in the third quarter against a loss of $21 million a year ago. GM profits for the first nine months of the year total $1.2 billion (1997: $4.2 billion) on sales of $114.9 billion (1997: $123.3 billion).

Meanwhile, losses at Ford of Europe increased in the third quarter of 1998 to $273 million, compared with a loss of $147 million in the same period last year. The decline reflected costs associated with the launch of the new Focus - which went on sale in the UK last Thursday - and lower export sales, said the company.

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