The $2.4 billion swing is partly accounted for by $1.65 billion in one-time charges related to the company's ongoing restructuring, which is not unexpected, but first quarter revenues also took a hit, falling $4 billion to $41.1 billion. Ford's U.S. vehicle sales fell 3 percent in the first quarter.
Mirroring rival General Motors, Ford lost money on its automotive operations, but made money at Ford Motor Credit Company, its version of GMAC.
Chairman and CEO Bill Ford said the company is "encouraged by the success in our global operations," referring in particular to South America, Europe, and Ford's Premier Automotive Group, all of which are on the upswing.
The bottom line? It's far too soon to judge the success or failure of Ford's "Way Forward" efforts, and with more restructuring charges to come this year, results are unlikely to show much improvement in the short term. The most worrisome trend for Ford (and GM, for that matter) is the continued decline in North American sales and market share.