Want more proof that Ford is really starting to pick up some serious momentum? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that The Blue Oval will follow up its $2.1 billion first quarter profits with another $1.6 billion $2.6 billion in black ink for the second quarter. That's a far cry from the $424 million the automaker lost in the second quarter of last year and another big step towards sustained financial success. Ford is making money in part because of restructured costs, but also because of increased awareness in its well-reviewed new products.

Ford is looking better on many fronts, including models with more competitive pricing, higher residual values, improved quality and sales increases that are outpacing most of its rivals. Ford now has a competitive small and midsize car lineup for the first time in decades, but the big money is still coming from larger vehicles. F-150 sales, for example, are up 25 percent for the quarter, while Super Duty sales are reportedly up 55 percent. In terms of average transaction prices, another success has been the revamped Taurus, which is fetching a whopping $6,300 more than the outgoing model and $850 more than the average Toyota Avalon.

UPDATE: Ford officially announced earnings of $2.6 billion for Q2, 2010. Revenue for the quarter was $31.1 billion, up from $26.8 billion in Q2, 2009.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal – sub. req.]