DEARBORN (WWJ) — Ford earned $5.7 billion dollars in 2012, with North American operations leading the way. The $8.2 billion in North American earnings mean profit sharing checks averaging $8,300 for workers.

“The Ford team delivered strong results once again, underscoring that our One Ford plan is working,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “We are well positioned for another strong year in 2013, as we continue our plan to serve customers in all markets around the world with a full family of vehicles — small, medium and large; cars, utilities and trucks — with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”

Ford’s North American operations had a profit margin of 10.4 perrcent, almost unheard of in the auto industry.

“I think that’s an outstanding result,” said Ford CFO Bob Shanks. “It just shows the ongoing effects of the restructuring we did over the past several years. As we look ahead at 2013, we’re still expecting a margin of 10 percent in North America, but we will have higher profits.”

Ford earned $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter as sales rose in every region outside Europe. Ford lost $1.7 billion in Europe for the full year and expects to lose about $2 billion more in the coming.

Shanks says Ford will push forward with already announced cuts in Europe, as well as a new product push. The company’s goal is to break even by mid-decade.

“We feel good about where we are, but there’s so much work ahead of us.”

Ford has a number of new products in the marketplace, including a new version of the Fusion mid-size car, an all new Escape small SUV and a new hybrid, the C-Max.

“I think those are all really hitting the mark in terms of improving on design and improving their competitiveness in these important segments,” said analyst Jeff Schuster with LMC Automotive.

Ford projects 2013 profits that will be around 2012 levels.

Interview: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert talks with Ford CFO Bob Shanks.

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