Ford expects $600 million first-quarter loss due to coronavirus

Ford Motor Co said on Monday it expects to post a pre-tax loss of about $600 million for the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic pummeled its operations, resulting in a 21% drop in vehicle sales to dealers versus the same quarter in 2019.

Only Ford’s joint ventures in China, where the coronavirus pandemic has been receding, are currently producing vehicles. The automaker said it is working on a scenario for a phased restart of its manufacturing plants beginning in the second quarter.

“However, we believe we have sufficient cash today to get us through at least the end of the third quarter with no incremental vehicle production and wholesales or financing actions,” Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone said in a statement.

As of April 9, Ford said it had about $30 billion in cash on its balance sheet, including $15.4 billion it borrowed last month against two existing credit lines.

Ford said any decisions on restarting its plants will be made “in cooperation with local unions, suppliers, dealers and other stakeholders.”

It said it expects its first-quarter adjusted loss before interest and taxes to be about $600 million, compared with a profit of $2.4 billion a year earlier.

The company said it expects to report revenue of about $34 billion for the quarter.

Reuters (Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru and Nick Carey in Detroit; Editing by Aditya Soni and Dan Grebler)