Cars

Ford finishes 2013 strong, but faces a tough year

The Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.
The Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.Credit: Ford

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DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. enjoyed one of the best years in its history in 2013, but the celebration won’t last long.

The Dearborn-based automaker posted a pretax profit of $8.56 billion — the second-highest in the past decade — and worldwide sales were up 12 percent to 6.3 million cars and trucks. That was a faster pace than Toyota, the industry leader, whose sales rose 2 percent to 9.98 million.

But Ford has already warned of leaner results this year as it launches a record 23 vehicles and builds seven plants around the world. It’s anticipating 13 weeks of expensive down time — up from five in 2013 — at its two US pickup truck plants to prepare for the launch of a new aluminum-clad F-150. And instability in South America and price competition in the United States are constant threats.

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