Shanks said industrywide auto sales have been falling in Europe for the last four years, but Ford continued to make money in the region until last year, when the declines got even more dramatic. Now the company doesn't think the European market will return to normal for at least five years.
Ford's stock price closed at $8.97 Wednesday, down 1 percent. It has fallen 32 percent in the past year, and hit a 52-week low Wednesday.
Ford joined a string of other multinational companies — including UPS and Xerox Corp. — in cutting its profit forecast for the full year because of weakness in Europe.
The automaker still expects a "strong" overall operating profit in 2012, but it will be lower than the $8.7 billion it made in 2011. Previously Ford had expected to make about the same amount as 2011.
If Ford's operating profit falls, it will be the first time since 2008 that Ford hasn't seen a year-over-year gain in operating profit.
Other regions also were weaker. Ford lost $66 million in Asia, where it is in the midst of a multiyear plan to increase production and introduce 10 new products. Profits also fell in South America, where it is being hurt by rising tariffs and the cost of developing and marketing several new products.
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