Detroit’s Big Three Profits Continue

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DETROIT— It was a week of good financial news for GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

Ford was first to post positive results on Tuesday by announcing record profits in the third quarter, led by the company’s North American operations. Europe continues to be a problem, and the company said it would close some plants there. But overall, Ford had a pre-tax profit of $2.2 billion and net income of $1.6 billion in the three months that ended September 30. Other international operations posted mixed results.

Thursday, Ford said sales of the F-150 pickup were the highest since 2004 and small car sales, led by the redesigned Focus, were the best in 11 years.

Then on Wednesday, GM announced net income of $1.8 billion in the third quarter, with North American operations accounting for $1.5 billion of that profit. Still, the numbers weren’t as good as the same period in 2011, when net income was $2.2 billion. As with Ford, European operations posted a loss.

Finally, Chrysler weighed in with an 80 percent improvement of third quarter net income over the same period in 2011: $381 million compared to $212 million. The company said sales of all models were up, with 11.3 percent of the automotive market. Chrysler introduced the new Dodge Dart and a redesigned Dodge Ram 1500 truck.

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