The Ford Motor Company hasn’t had a year this good in its entire 113-year history. In the first three months of 2016, the American automaker saw nearly double-digit profits worldwide, with net sales jumping to $2.5 billion from $1.2 billion this time last year. From Eastern Asia to the lots of West Valley City, Utah, consumers are buying Ford vehicles in droves.
Ford’s unprecedented profit margins are driven by sales of its new aluminum body F150 line, as consumers from Utah to the East Coast take advantage of historically low gas prices. In the North American market, Ford’s profits doubled this quarter to $3.1 billion. Though Ford produced fewer vehicles than main competitor General Motors, it recorded higher profits for this quarter.
Ford’s success can also be attributed to strong sales in the international market, particularly in Europe. In the European market, the American automaker made more money in the first three months of 2016 than it did over the entirety of last year. In addition to strong sales of compact models such as the Ford Fusion and Ford Focus, the European market has seen increased sales of pickups such as the F150.
Automotive sales in China are also on the up-and-up. After building a series of plants, Ford is performing better than ever in the Asian market. Profits in the first quarter of 2016 are up $83 million from a year ago, when ventures totaled $360 million.
In addition to the F150, Ford has been working on updated versions of the Edge and Explorer SUVs. Sales of trucks made up 70 percent of Ford’s domestic sales this quarter, up 6 percent from last year. The F150 remains the most popular vehicle in the United States, with strong sales from Utah to the Midwest.
With an 8 percent sales increase in the first quarter of 2016, Ford is poised to have a record-setting year. If 2016 is any indication, 2017 will deliver even higher returns than previously thought possible.