Ford Lost $2 Billion in 2022 as Some Investments Soured

Ford Motor said on Thursday that it lost $2.2 billion in 2022 as it wrote down the value of two big investments and struggled with high costs and supply chain problems.

The company wrote down its investments in Rivian, a young electric truck maker, by $7.4 billion and Argo AI, a company developing autonomous vehicles, by $2.8 billion last year. Ford said on Thursday that it had almost completely sold its stake in Rivian. In October, Ford said Argo was winding down.

The automaker said its revenue had risen about 16 percent, to $158 billion, mainly because of higher car prices. The company sold 4.2 million vehicles worldwide, up from 3.9 million in 2021.

Ford has long struggled to reduce defects and recalls in its cars and trucks. Recalls can be expensive and time consuming, and company executives said on Thursday that they were working to improve the reliability of their vehicles.

“In simple terms, we need to improve quality and lower costs now,” the company’s chief financial officer, John Lawler, said in a conference call.

Ford’s performance was also hurt by a $600 million loss stemming from its joint ventures in China and about $12 billion in special expenses, including those related to Argo and Rivian, which has lost much of its value since it listed on the stock exchange in November 2021.

Excluding the special expenses, interest and taxes, Ford made a $10.4 billion profit last year, it said, roughly as much as in 2021.

“We should have done much better last year,” the company’s chief executive, Jim Farley, said in a statement.

In the last three months of the year, Ford had a $1.3 billion profit, a steep drop from a year earlier, when it booked a large gain from its stake in Rivian. Ford’s revenue in the final three months of 2022 rose 17 percent, to $44 billion.

The company sold 1.15 million vehicles in the fourth quarter, an increase from 1.1 million a year earlier but about 500,000 fewer than Ford had expected, Mr. Lawler said.

Ford’s production has been slowed by the global shortage of computer chips, and Mr. Lawler said the company expected some disruptions to continue this year and a slight increase in production volume.

“In 2023, there is still going to be volatility on chips,” he said. “On the older chips used in the auto industry, there is still capacity constraint.”

Ford said it expected this year’s adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to range between $9 billion and $11 billion.

Shares of Ford stock were down about 7 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Ford said that its sales of cars and trucks in the United States increased 2 percent in January and that its sales of electric vehicles more than doubled in the month.

The automaker sold 145,070 cars and light trucks last month, up from 142,445 in January 2022, when a shortage of computer chips slowed production and left dealers with few vehicles to sell. At the end of January, Ford had 370,000 vehicles on dealer lots, up from 201,000 a year earlier, a strong signal that supply chain problems were easing.

Models responsible for the increase included pickup trucks, the Bronco sport utility vehicle and battery-powered models. Ford sold 2,264 electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks, up from just 63 in January 2022, when the vehicle had just become available. It also sold 2,626 Mustang Mach-E electric S.U.V.s, up 11 percent.

Ford halted production of the Mach-E in January while modifying its plant in Cuautitlán, just north of Mexico City, to increase output. Production will restart this month, the company said.

On Wednesday, Honda, Hyundai and Kia reported sales increases of 9 percent to 22 percent, also as a result of improved supplies of vehicles. But Toyota said its January sales fell 15 percent to 134,392 cars and trucks.

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