May 10, 2018 10:32 CET
DETROIT -- Ford Motor shareholders should expect "fairly large" changes in the coming year, Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said, building on the automaker's moves to discontinue some North American models and boost electric vehicle investment.
The automaker has promised to cut costs overall but still faces questions about lagging performance in certain regions and calls for more details on its restructuring. Its shares have barely budged since CEO Jim Hackett took the helm last year.
"It could be regions, it could be functions, it could be areas of emphasis," Ford said in an interview. "We’ve done some big things, and we still have some big things to do."
The automaker lost $4 billion in South America from 2013 through the first quarter of this year, and its chief of global operations said in January it was "exploring every option you can imagine."
Analysts have also urged an overhaul of European passenger car operations to help Ford reach its 8 percent pre-tax profit margin goal. Figuring out how to make Ford of Europe sustainably profitable has become a priority within the company again after a disappointing performance in the region last year.
Bill Ford said the automaker will be able to use cost savings to return cash to shareholders, invest in new technology and businesses and fund restructuring.
"We believe we can take care of all three," he said.
Hackett since January has outlined plans to cut costs by a cumulative $25.5 billion by 2022 and prune Ford's list of North American sedans and compact cars, while boosting investments in electric vehicles and its product lineup in China.