Ford jumps 8% as strong demand for its popular trucks in North America boosts first-quarter earnings

The Ford Motor Co. Mustang Shelby GT500 vehicle is displayed during the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan,.

The company, which release earnings after the markets closed Thursday, credited its better-than-expected performance in North America to strong truck and sport utility vehicle sales there, particularly its F-Series and Ranger pickups.

Ford's redesigned some of its most popular vehicles, set to launch later this year or next, including updates of its Ranger and Super Duty pickups, the Explorer and Escape SUVs, as well the all-new Aviator and all-new Corsair from Lincoln.

"This quarter was a really good start for the year," Ford CFO Bob Shanks said in a statement announcing the results.

"We expect first quarter EBIT to be the strongest of the year due to seasonal factors and major product launches ahead.

The plan involves focusing on Ford's historically strongest segments like trucks, utilities, and muscle cars, while scaling back international operations, investing in new technologies, and featuring more profitable vehicles.

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