Ford earned $1 billion in the third quarter, fueled by US market share gains, cost cuts, and the government's Cash for Clunkers rebates. The automaker, reporting net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per share. says it now expects to be "solidly profitable" in 2011. The company lost more than $14.6 billion in 2008 and hasn't posted a full-year profit since 2005. While it made a profit in the second quarter, that was mainly due to debt reductions that cut its interest payments.
Ford's North American car and truck division—its key business—posted a pretax profit of $357 million, its first quarter in the black since early 2005. Ford cited higher pricing, lower material costs, and increased market share for the improvement. Ford still faces obstacles in its turnaround. Last week, workers overwhelmingly rejected an agreement with the United Auto Workers that would have brought Ford's labor costs in line with rivals GM and Chrysler. (Read more Ford Motor Co. stories.)