Ford Motor Credit Co. continued to prop up Ford Motor Co. in the second quarter.
Ford Credit posted net income of $897 million. But Ford Motor's worldwide automotive operations reported a pre-tax loss of $57 million.
Premier Automotive Group was Ford's big loser, with a pre-tax loss of $362 million. Ford blamed unfavorable exchange rates, higher costs, product changeovers and lower transaction prices for PAG's poor results.
"We'll probably do well to break even in PAG this year," Ford Motor CFO Don Leclair said.
Ford had forecast that the luxury-brand unit would earn up to $600 million in pre-tax profits in 2004.
Meanwhile at General Motors, General Motors Acceptance Corp. posted banner net income, $860 million, in the second quarter. But unlike Ford's, GM's global automotive operations posted respectable net income, $529 million.
GM Europe struggled, posting a loss of $45 million. GM's three other regions - Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America - were all profitable.
Ford North America's pre-tax auto profits were $455 million, up $10 million from a year ago. Ford credited more sales of higher-priced vehicles and higher prices in general. For the second quarter in a row, Ford's net pricing, including incentives, rose by 1.2 percent.
With high industry inventories and incentives, Ford executives don't expect the 1.2 percent year-over-year pricing bump to last. Net pricing in North America is projected to fall to a 0.5 percent gain for full-year 2004.
GM automotive operations must improve, CEO Rick Wagoner said. The company's global market share in the second quarter dropped to 14.7 percent from 14.9 percent in the second quarter of 2003.
In North America, GM said, market share in the quarter fell to 26.2 percent from 27.2 percent in the second quarter of 2003.
GM North America posted net income of $328 million in the second quarter, compared with $83 million in the second quarter of 2003.
GM "must move faster to implement our strategy - introducing great cars and trucks, reducing costs, improving quality and generating cash," Wagoner said in a press release.
GM Asia Pacific continued to shine. The region posted net income of $236 million in the second quarter, up from $163 million in the second quarter of 2003.
Led by gains in China and India, GM's market share in the Asia Pacific region rose to 5.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with 4.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.