Ford books $17.9 billion profit for 2021

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. booked $17.9 billion in profit on $136.3 billion in revenue in 2021, the Dearborn automaker reported Thursday. That compares to a $1.3 billion loss on $127.1 billion in revenue in 2020.

"Financial performance is obviously critical," CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “We’re also proud that customers see how Ford is taking EVs mainstream, and have already ordered or reserved more than 275,000 all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUVs, F-150 Lightning pickups and E-Transit commercial vehicles — and we’re breaking constraints to deliver every one of them as fast as we can.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley talks about the F-150 Lightning electric pickup projected on the side of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn on May 19, 2021.

The profitable results were recorded even as Ford and the rest of the automotive industry navigated a complex, ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips that are crucial vehicle components.

Noting that Ford was the No. 2 seller of EVs in the U.S. last year, Farley called this “an important early step toward eventually being the true EV leader.”

The company previously said it would aim to boost EV manufacturing capacity to at least 600,000 units by 2023. It is targeting at least 40% of its lineup being fully electric vehicles by decade's end.

In the fourth quarter, Ford booked $12.3 billion in profit on revenue of $37.7 billion. Meanwhile, John Lawler, Ford's chief financial officer, said the company expects full-year 2022 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to be stronger than 2021, at between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion.

The Dearborn automaker closed last year with a cash balance totaling $36.5 billion — $10.6 billion of which it attributed to its stake in electric startup Rivian Automotive Inc., a maker of electric pickups and SUVs. By comparison, Ford closed 2020 with a cash balance of $30.8 billion.

Last year, the company posted adjusted EBIT of $10 billion. The company expects "significantly higher profits in North America, along with collective profitability in the rest of the world as the company benefits from its extensive global redesign," according to a news release.

Rival General Motors Co. on Tuesday reported it booked net income of $10 billion in 2021 on revenue of $127 billion. GM also met its 2021 projected guidance of $14 billion in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes. In 2022, the automaker is forecasting income in the range of $9.4 billion to $10.8 billion and adjusted earnings to be in a range of $13 billion to $15 billion. 

Stellantis NV reports its full-year earnings Feb. 23.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski

Staff Writer Kalea Hall contributed.