Ford Motor Co., riding a wave of momentum from new models and new management, exceeded expectations with third-quarter earnings that outran the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fueled by strong sales of pricey pickups, Ford posted adjusted earnings per share of 65 cents, well above the 19 cents analyst consensus forecast, with adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of US$3.6 billion compared with US$1.8 billion a year ago.

The long-suffering automaker is enjoying a surge in sentiment since industry veteran Jim Farley became chief executive officer Oct. 1, replacing retiring Jim Hackett, to whom Wall Street never warmed. Intense and demanding, Farley is expected to jumpstart a turnaround that has been sputtering for years.

Farley is armed with three key new models -- a redesign of its top-selling F-150 pickup, the electric Mustang Mach-E and the revived Bronco sport-utility vehicle -- and a U.S. auto market that is coming back faster than anticipated after a COVID-19-related, two-month spring shutdown initially decimated sales.

Ford recorded its best third-quarter pickup sales in 15 years as demand for trucks industrywide outpaced supply with the economy clawing back from the pandemic pause. That boosted the company’s U.S. market share in the quarter and the average price buyers paid for its models to US$45,599, up 8 per cent from a year earlier, according to researcher Edmunds. Revenue in the quarter was $37.5 billion, above the US$33.98 billion analysts anticipated.

“Ford is riding a wave of positive momentum that should carry the company through the end of a wild year,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights, said in a statement before the automaker released quarterly results.