The 2009 Ford Ka is one of the most stylish minicars currently on sale overseas

The 2009 Ford Ka is one of the most stylish minicars currently on sale overseas

While many carmakers are struggling to stay afloat during the current economic crisis, Ford's regional operations in Europe have remained profitable and are forecast to stay that way through next year as well. Ford of Europe's pretax profit for the third quarter was $69 million, however this is still down from $293 million during the same period last year.

Ford's European chief financial officer, Lewis Booth, predicted that the division would also be profitable in 2009, based on "current assumptions". There are certain conditions for this prediction to come about, including the overall European car market remaining above 15 million units, while the market in Russia and Turkey must be more than 2.5 million and 600,000 units respectively, reports Automotive News.

The division's success can be attributed to quick action in promoting smaller cars, and this is expected to continue with the release of the next-generation Fiesta and Ka minicar, both due to market soon. While new car sales were down 2.4% for the year to date, Ford of Europe's CEO, John Fleming, stated that "the third quarter is always traditionally down".

Despite Ford's relative success in the third quarter, the falling European market for cars is still of concern to Fleming, who expressed that 2010 might be a year where car sales improve but that 2009 was unlikely to herald a recovery in the market.