Ford Motor Company reports strong 2021 Q1 results
It is undeniable that 2020 was a challenging year for organisations around the world. For Ford Motor Company, the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 detailed significantly reduced financial results due to the coronavirus pandemic, with its focus primarily on the protection of people, helping society in response, balance-sheet management and operational excellence.
“Ford people are keeping each other safe, limiting the spread of the virus, safeguarding healthcare workers and first responders, and taking care of customers. The imagination, initiative and execution of our team is helping save lives today, and those qualities will allow Ford to emerge from this as a stronger company,” said Jim Hackett, CEO at Ford.
Ford Motor Company’s 2020 Q1 results
For the first quarter of 2020, Ford motor company reported a quarterly revenue of US$34bn, with a net loss of US$2.0bn (50% per share), and an adjusted free cash flow of negative US$2.2bn.
Further reported figures for the first quarter of 2020 included:
- An adjusted EPS of -US$0.02
- An adjusted loss before interest and taxes of US$632mn, with estimated negative effects of the virus on adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) totaling at least US$2bn
- A volume-driven Automotive EBIT loss of US$177mn
- Ford Credit delivered US$30mn before taxes, downUS $771mn year on year
Ford Motor Company 2021 Q1 results: the sunnier side of the road
Experiencing one of its “strongest operating performances in years,” Ford Motor Company’s first quarter worldwide has experienced operating improvements and increased customer receptiveness of new products.
“Our team is relentlessly executing our plan to turn around our automotive business so that we can create and deliver the high-value, always-on experience that our Ford and Lincoln customers deserve. There’s no question we’re becoming a stronger, more resilient company,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO.
Overall, Ford Motor Company’s Q1 for 2021 increased to US$36.2bn (up US$2.2bn compared to 2020). In addition, the automotive manufacturer produced a net income of US$3.3bn (its best since 2011, and a significant increase from its net loss of US$2.0bn in 2020). Ford’s balance sheets also continue to remain strong with its cash flow exceeding US$31bn, and its total liquidity above US$47bn.
- North America: first-quarter revenue increased 5% to US$23.0bn, with its EBIT rising to US$2.9bn
- South America: while reporting an EBIT loss of US$73mn, the figures show its sixth consecutive quarter of better year on year results
- Europe: Ford Motor Company generated US$7.1bn in revenue (up 13%) in the region, alongside a US$341mn EBIT(more than reversing its losses a year ago)
- China: Ford Motor Company had its best ever Q1 retail sales of its Lincoln-brand vehicles in the region for 2021, its light trucks, vans, buses and pickups accounted for 48% of its sales in China
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.