Dec. 18 - Ford is warning profits will slow next year as the company ramps up spending for the biggest product launches in its history, at the same time business is restrained in Europe and South America. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Ford is sounding the warning alarm. The automaker says global pretax profit should come in at about 7 billion to 8 billion dollars next year. If that forecast holds - that would be a slowdown from the $8-1/2 billion Ford is expecting to bring in this year. A steady climb in U.S. sales is masking weakness in other geographic locations, namely Europe and South America. 2014 could be pivotal for Ford, it is preparing for the biggest number of new model launches in one year ever in its history. Product launches can be costly and weigh on profits because of all the promotions involved. The other big event could be the possibility a new CEO takes over if current chief Alan Mulally heads out early.