Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) reported a better than expected quarterly net profit that was mainly driven by U.S. high margin pickup trucks sales. Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks have been the best selling vehicle in the U.S. for years where the average transaction price for the trucks increased from $2,800 to $45,400. U.S. margin also rose from 5.8% to 8.1% last year.
The automaker is planning to test self driving cars in some cities by 2018 and is also developing new partnerships with unnamed companies to use their self driving vehicles in commercial applications aside from ride hailing.
General Motors Co. on the other hand already announced plans to launch their self driving Chevrolet Bolts by 2020 as well as 20 electric cars by 2023. The automaker’s stock is up almost 30% while Ford’s is down about 1%.
Ford has been trying to restructure their business since the only other region that was profitable for them was Asia Pacific where profit was mainly driven by an increase in sales outside of China. China’s margins, sales volumes, and market share all reported a fall. However, the company’s European operations would return to profitability in the fourth quarter and for the full year.
Quarterly net profit was reported at $1.56 billion which is up more than 60% from $960 million last year. The earnings per share of 43 cents topped Wall Street expectations of 32 cents. Ford’s revenue increased from $35.94 billion to $36.45 billion. The automaker predicts full year earnings ranging from $1.75 to $1.85 per share.