Ford Profits Drop 34%, Critics Blame Aluminum-Bodied F-150

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Ford Motor Company’s  profit dropped 34% in the third quarter, largely because of the cost of launching its new aluminum-bodied F-150.

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The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker reported third-quarter pre-tax profit of $1.2 billion, down from $1.4 billion a year ago. Net profit fell by $437 million over the past year to $835 million, or 21 cents per share.

Operating cash flow dropped to negative $700 million over the past three months, due largely to 5 weeks of downtime while new machinery was installed at the Dearborn Truck Plant, which is transitioning to a new F-150 model that’s 700 pounds lighter largely because it replaced the steel body with aluminum and added more advanced high-strength steel.

The Indian aluminum cash price fell 0.8% on Thursday, October 23 to INR 121.50 ($1.98) per kilogram, making it the day’s biggest mover. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum gained 0.8% to finish at $1,996 per metric ton. On the LME, the primary aluminum cash price rose 0.4% to $1,980 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap held steady at CNY 12,250 ($1,995) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet continues hovering around CNY 13,590 ($2,213) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held flat at CNY 14,200 ($2,312) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum remained essentially flat at CNY 13,960 ($2,273) per metric ton.

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