Ford has released its financial results for the second quarter of 2008. In the 12 weeks between April and June, it managed to lose $1.38bn. And in order to keep its books in trim, it decided to reduce the value of its assets in North America by $5.3bn.

The company admitted that the $8.7bn loss was the biggest quarter plunge into the red in Ford's history. It wasn't all bad news. Ford Europe doubled profits to $582m and Ford did well in Asia and South America. Volvo, though, lost $120m.

Ford boss Alan Mulally said he expected the US economy to pick-up in 2010 and that the Blue Oval has $38 billion in ready financing to keep it going through this serious downturn.

The company also says that it expects the shift from big SUVs and trucks ­- the sort of cars that used to make huge profits for Ford - to become a permanent feature of the US market. It sounds bad. But Ford also had a compelling story to tell about how it expects to get out this fix.