Ford will stop selling commercial trucks in South America

A Ford-4000 heavy truck.

Source: Ford
A Ford-4000 heavy truck.

Ford will stop selling heavy trucks in South America, a region where the automaker has long struggled.

The second largest U.S. automaker expects to record pretax special item charges of about $460 million as a result.

Ford will stop production at its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil this year, and will stop selling the Cargo lineup, F-4000 and F-350 trucks along with the Fiesta compact car once it sells out of its inventories.

The automaker said it is still invested in the region, despite the pullback.

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“Ford is committed to the South American region by building a sustainable and profitable business with strengthened product offerings, outstanding customer experience, and a leaner more agile business model,” said Lyle Watters, president, Ford of South America.

Ford has been taking steps to trim its operations and overhaul its business — a plan that will likely take years and cost $11 billion. The company’s international businesses pose a particularly thorny challenge. Rival General Motors has pulled out entirely of some regions where it has not performed well, but Ford’s trouble is that many of its businesses around the world are a mixture of good and bad. The company said earlier this year it plans to partner with German automaker Volkswagen on a number of initiatives in Europe, South America, and Africa.

“It positive to see Ford finally beginning to take some long overdue in South America,” said Jon Gabrielsen, an independent auto industry analyst. “I fear it is likely to be too little, too late.”