Ford's third-quarter profits jump to $1.7bn

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Alan Mulally
Image caption,
Ford's Alan Mulally said new models and cost-cutting helped to improve profitability

US motor company Ford has reported net income of $1.7bn (£1.08bn) for the third quarter, a rise of 68% on the same period a year ago.

The company's improved performance came as it increased its share of the US market and buyers paid more for its cars and trucks.

It was Ford's sixth straight quarterly profit.

Ford chief Alan Mulally said that new cars and aggressive cost-cutting had helped to boost profits.

'Growing product strength'

"This was another strong quarter and we continue to gain momentum with our One Ford [transformation] plan," said Mr Mulally, Ford's president and chief executive.

"Delivering world class products and aggressively restructuring our business has enabled us to profitably grow even at low industry volumes in key regions.

Image caption,
Ford says its new Explorer is more fuel efficient

"The key drivers for improvement in 2011 will be our growing product strength, a gradually strengthening economy and an unrelenting focus on improving the competitiveness of all our operations," he added.

Ford was the only big US carmaker that was not subject to a US government bail-out during the financial crisis.

The firm has now announced new plans to reduce what it owes, saying by the end of the year it hopes to have as much cash as debt.

It also said it would pre-pay the remaining $3.6bn of debt owed to the VEBA retiree health care trust by November.

The firm also said that its remodelled Explorer SUV, with a 30% fuel economy improvement over the current model, would go on sale in North America later this year.

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