US car manufacturing giant Ford has revealed a staggering £1.1 billion annual loss, as the Eurozone crisis leads to poor sales in the recession-hit countries.
The bad news is expected to hit the UK hard - just months after it was left reeling at the news that Ford would close two manufacturing plants last October, bringing to an end 100 years of Fords being manufactured in the UK.
Chief financial officer Bob Shanks warned on Tuesday night that the situation was unlikely to improve as the Eurozone was expected to remain in recession throughout 2013.
"Clearly we still have some difficult times in front of us in Europe but we do think that it will bottom this year," he added.
The cost of European restructuring and higher pension costs were also cited as reasons why 2013 would be tough.
The European results contrasted enormously with Ford's fortunes in the US - In North America sales were booming with pre-tax operating profit for its North American unit of $1.87bn (£1.2bn), an increase of $577 million (£366m) from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Ford isn't the only car manufacturer hurting in Europe - the Guardian reported that Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne recently said Europe's leaders were "fundamentally maiming" the car industry by blocking plans to restructure amid the downturn.
“The collapse in the European car market has hit Ford hard, causing some concern among auto industry experts at how it could still be so badly exposed to a region whose economic woes have been well known for a number of years," Nick Hood, business analyst told the Huffington Post UK.
"Unfortunately, cutting capacity in a constantly shrinking market takes time and is extremely expensive in such a fixed cost intensive industry. Fortunately, Ford's home market is motoring nicely now, performing well enough to outweigh the European horror story.
"The financial profile still bears some of the scars from the early days of the global crisis, but it remains comfortably above average and must be the envy of most European car makers."
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