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6:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ford's Mark Fields: production constraints to ease by year-end

Ford Motor Company is hitting most of its financial targets these days.

The Detroit automaker is profitable; last year it restored dividends to shareholders; and recently, the company's stock climbed back to investment grade.

But Ford will miss one key target in 2012.  The company will lose market share this year, rather than gain it, as company executives predicted last year. 

Market share is a car company's percentage of total car sales.    

Mark Fields is President of the Americas.  He says one reason for the change in expectation is the company didn't have enough workers to meet higher than expected demand in the first quarter.

The company has added shifts recently at its factories in Wayne, Chicago, Louisville, and Kansas City.

"By the time that we get to the fourth quarter," Fields said at a product event in Dearborn, "I think we will have all the production actions in place that will allow us to get back to the share levels that we expect."

Ford also hopes to increase its market share in China. The company is investing five billion dollars to build new factories in what is now the world's largest car market.  

China is the largest car market by volume, though, not profitability. 

The U.S. remains the largest car market when it comes to profitability.