Ford beating General Motors in race to Europe turnaround

GM, Chrysler

GM’s plans haven’t been quite as well received by investors as Ford’s. Since Oct. 30, the day before GM said it would cut costs by $500 million a year starting this year, it gained 25% through Jan. 25. While that’s far better than the S&P’s 6.4%  gain, it trails Ford’s 32% rise.

“We are not focused on what Ford is doing, but are keenly focused on driving to break-even by the middle of the decade with great products and an improved cost structure,” said Randy Arickx, a GM spokesman.

Fiat SpA, the majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, is relying on the U.S. unit to offset losses at Fiat’s mass-market brands in Europe. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both companies, is working to improve results in the region before merging the two automakers by 2015.

Ford likes its odds in Europe, given its experience in North America.

“Even with a no-change bottom line in Europe in ’13 versus ’12, we’re well on our way in terms of a transformation that will get that part of the business back on track,” Ford’s Shanks said. “We didn’t fix North America in six months. It took years. The same thing will happen in Europe.”

Bloomberg News

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