Ford released first quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations for both revenue and earnings per share. It blamed a slow roll out of the F-150 pickup and slow sales in some overseas markets. The automaker maintained its forecast for full year pretax profit.
The costs of the big airbag recall and some slow sales hit the old bottom line at Honda. The company reported a 32 percent decline in operating profit in its fiscal fourth quarter and net income was also lower. In addition, there were ramp up costs for introduction of the new Fit based sport utility, the HR-V. Honda has recalled 9.8 million vehicles in the U.S. alone to repair airbag inflators from the Takata Corp.
On the flip side of all this was Daimler, the parent of Mercedes Benz. Thanks to hot sellers in the luxury car lineup the company said net profit almost doubled in the first quarter. All major markets worldwide posted sales increases especially the U.S. and China.
The average annual cost to own and operate a vehicle fell two percent from last year to $8,698 according to Triple A. It cited declines in gas prices and finance charges.
Kelley Blue Book predicts auto sales will show a 5.2 percent gain when the March figures come out later this week. It believes there will be strong improvements for Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota.
Ford said the 5.0-liter Mustang will sprint from 0-62 mph, or 100 km, in just 4.8 seconds making it “the fastest accelerating Ford couple ever offered in Europe.” The car goes on sale in the UK in late autumn.