Europe may have lost its appetite for new cars, but buyers in America and China propelled Ford Motor Co. to a profit in the third quarter. Ford said it made $1.63 billion, down only slightly from a year earlier, despite lower worldwide sales and bigger European losses. It was the company’s best performance ever in the third quarter. Ford said per-share net income was unchanged at 41 cents. The automaker reported a $2.3 billion pretax profit in North America, its best performance since the company began reporting separate North American results 12 years ago. Ford’s revenue fell 3 percent to $32.1 billion as vehicle sales dropped worldwide, but the company still exceeded Wall Street’s revenue forecast. Ford also last week it plans to close three European factories, affecting 6,200 employees.
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