The numbers: Boom. Third quarter profit hit $1.3 billion, with $36 billion in revenue. Both beat expectations handily. The company also raised its outlook for the rest of the year on strong pickup truck sales and a less pathetic Europe. Shares were up more than 3% in premarket trading.
The takeaway: Pickups continue to pick up, helped by the improvement in home building and other construction. Ford’s losses in Europe, where the economy remains in the dumps, are also shrinking.
What’s interesting: While lackluster business investment is proving to be a drag on global growth, these are seriously good times for global automakers. As a result, they’re in a frenzy to boost their capacity to churn out new autos. Ford is no exception. Morgan Stanley analysts say between 2010 and May 2012, Ford spent some $9 billion retooling and tweaking plants in the US and Canada. And that doesn’t include a single brand new plant. Here’s its list: