Surprise first-quarter profit for Honda, unsurprising giant loss for Ford
Despite an economy that has hit automakers hard, Honda Motor Co. on Friday reported an unexpected record profit for its fiscal first quarter, crediting demand for fuel-efficient Civics and Fits for the surprise boost. Honda was the only automaker to report better U.S. sales in June 2008 than in June 2007, though small-car specialists Kia and Fiat SpA also reported first-quarter profits. In contrast, Ford Motor Co., which only recently decided to shift away from reliance on trucks and SUVs, reported an $8.7 billion quarterly loss, the worst in its 105-year history. Toyota, Nissan, and General Motors will all announce earnings in the next few weeks; GM is expected to join Ford in reporting a substantial loss.