Ford Motor Company : Ford revamps internal outlook as Europe woes drag
06/07/2012| 06:11pm US/Eastern
Ford Motor Co is revamping its internal five-year business plan to take into account the marked deterioration in the European economy over the last year, the No. 2 U.S. automaker's chief financial officer said in an interview on Thursday.
"We have to develop a better plan in response to what's going to be a much less favorable external environment," CFO Bob Shanks said. "How do we tack to respond to new realities? That's what we're in the process of doing."
Shanks declined to describe the specific changes to Ford's strategy because the updates are confidential. The next update will be presented to top executives in mid-July.
Europe's debt crisis has depressed demand for new vehicles in the 19 markets Ford tracks in the region, where automakers had already been contending with over capacity, paper-thin margins and tough price competition. Ford expects to lose between $500 million and $600 million in Europe this year.
Concerns about the health of Spain's banks and the prospect of Greece exiting the euro zone after an election on June 17 have unsettled global markets. The U.S. economic recovery increasingly appears at risk and growth in major emerging economies such as Brazil, India and China has slowed sharply.
On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank was gauging the "significant risks" to the U.S. recovery from the debt crisis.
"Clearly in Europe, if you go back and look a year ago we didn't envisage the type of environment that it looks like we're going to be living in for a while," Shanks said.
The automaker prepares four internal updates on its business every year. Two of those updates are deep, detailed studies of the automaker's business and include five-year projections.
Ford will continue to tweak its five-year outlook over the course of the year. In December, Ford will present the plan to its board of directors "to get confirmation," Shanks added.
(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; editing by Andre Grenon)
By Deepa Seetharaman