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Finance key for Ford, GM

Despite losses in Europe, Ford and General Motors made global profits in 2004 – thanks to contributions by financial services.

Cost savings helped push Ford Europe to a £61m profit in 2004 having lost £586m in 2003. PAG lost £394m, however, down from a profit of £91m in 2003. Currency fluctuations and lower volumes at Jaguar are to blame.

GM Europe losses rose from £152m in 2003 to £395m.

Financial services accounted for £2.6bn of Ford’s £3.1bn global profit and £1.54bn of GM’s £1.9bn. Ford sold 6.8m cars worldwide, 62,000 units more than 2003; GM sold 9.1m up from 8.8m.

Max Warburton, Goldman Sachs analyst, says strong C-Max pricing helped Ford turn a profit. But, for GME, he warned: “GM has its youngest product range ever, but it still can’t make money. A new Zafira due later this year should help.”

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