Ford earnings down on sales skid by Ben Geier @FortuneMagazine October 24, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons A day after rival General Motors posted increased earnings and put out some generally good vibes, Ford’s earnings are way down and the mood is bleaker in Dearborn. Ford’s pre-tax earnings stood at $1.2 billion, a significant drop-off from $2.6 billion for the third quarter of 2013. The statement from the company did note that the upcoming car releases were on track, including the highly anticipated new F-150 truck. What you need to know: The biggest reason for the decline in profits? Quite simply, Ford F was just not able to move as many cars as they did last year. Sales for the three months stood at 1.49 million, down from 1.55 million for the same quarter in 2013. Additionally, margins were way down. Operating margin for the automotive sector was 2.5%, compared with 7% last year. Not to constantly compare Ford to their Motor City neighbor, but GM GM was posting margins closer to 10% yesterday. Ford also blamed “higher warranty costs and adverse balance sheet exchange effects” for the decrease in profit.” The big number: For manufacturers, production rate can be as important as sales; after all, if you can’t produce cars quickly and cheaply, it doesn’t really matter how good you are at selling them. Last quarter, Ford rolled 1.49 million cars off the line, 57,000 fewer than in 2013 and 45,000 less than the guidance said Ford expected to produce. Thing’s aren’t expected to get all that much better in the fourth quarter, with Ford expecting to make 1.54 million cars, down 35,000 from last year. The company says planned shutdowns to various plants are the reason for this decrease. What you may have missed: While the manufacturing and selling side of the business wasn’t so hot, Ford’s financial services sector was actually doing better year-over-year. Ford Motor Credit is what is called a captive finance company, a wing of a manufacturer that provides financing to customers buying cars from that automaker. Ford Motor Credit’s pre-tax earnings were $498 million, up from $427 million the year before. Higher volume of financed deals is the main reason given for this increase.