Ford Australia has attributed the AU$287 million turnaround to its ability to maintain a healthy sales revenue (AU$3.14bn, compared to AU$3.9bn in 2008) with fewer vehicle sales, down almost eight per cent last year.
It follows the third-largest local manufacturer's AU$274.4 million operating loss in 2008 (the deepest in its history) and losses of AU$87.1 million and AU$40 million in 2007 and 2006 respectively.
The company was not anticipating a return to profitability until at least 2011 under its previous strategy of building the Focus small car at its production plant in Broadmeadows.
That plan was scrapped last year, with Ford deciding instead to upgrade its current Australian-built models in 2011. The Falcon will gain a four-cylinder engine and a new-generation liquid-injection dedicated-LPG inline-six, while the Territory will pick up a turbo-diesel engine.
“We have been performing very solidly in 2010 and my expectation is that we will build on the profits that we have reported in 2009. We are very bullish in terms of where the industry will be heading, we think the industry will be a million-plus this year,” Burela told GoAuto.
“We’re moving into 2011 with new products coming through, we are continuing to invest, and we will deliver both on share, on profitable growth, and we will deliver value to our customers. As we have in 2009, we will do it in 2010 and beyond", Burela added.