Ford Motor Company completed one of its best years ever in 2013.
Led by record profits in North America and Asia Pacific Africa, we achieved our fifth year in a row of positive net income. We are now rated investment grade by four of the major credit rating agencies.
Our strong performance enabled us to double the quarterly dividend in 2013, and subsequently raise it by 25 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
After achieving one of our best years, we are now embarked on one of our most ambitious years, building a strong foundation for future growth and profitability.
In 2014 we plan to go further by launching the most vehicles worldwide in a single year in our history. Included in these launches will be all-new versions of two iconic Ford vehicles, Mustang and F-150.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Mustang will be available for the first time in key markets in Europe and Asia. The all-new F-150, part of America's best-selling F-Series lineup, is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever - setting the standard for the future of trucks.
To support these product launches we are continuing with our largest manufacturing expansion in the last 50 years. We will increase capacity or add production in six of our U.S. assembly plants, and are opening two new plants in Asia, one in South America and one in Europe.
Our focus continues to be on producing vehicles that are best-in-class in quality, environmental impact, safety and innovative technology. The record number of new vehicles we will introduce this year supports our goals of increased global sales and market share, as well as our ongoing commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles.
Our environmental commitment included the sale of more than 85,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the United States in 2013, the first full year all six of our electrified vehicles were available. That represented a sales increase of nearly 150 percent from the prior year.
We also introduced a Ford Fusion Hybrid automated research vehicle with the University of Michigan and State Farm to study autonomous driving and other advanced technologies. This vehicle builds on a decade of automated driving research at Ford and represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility. We are a leader in wireless automotive communication technology, which will make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment.
Our employees around the world are working together to meet the needs of our customers and the issues confronting our world. We have completed one of the most profitable and successful years in our history, and are building a foundation for even greater success in the future. We have a strong leadership team, a great plan and growing momentum. I look forward to progress and profitability for all.
Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.
William Clay Ford, Jr.
March 13, 2014