Ford CFO says too early to assess election effect, likes Trump's 'change in tone'

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Ford Motor Co Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told investors on Thursday it is too early to assess the impact of the election of Donald Trump U.S. president on its business over the next several years.

Shanks said that Ford officials are communicating with the Trump transition team and that he was encouraged by the "change in tone" in Trump's comments since his election last week.

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Shanks, speaking with Wall Street industry analysts in New York, said he expects that the North American Free Trade Agreement will be revised in a Trump administration. He said, however, that he is encouraged that the president-elect has said it wants the U.S. economy to grow, and that any changes to NAFTA would be "pro-growth, overall."

The Ford CFO said the automaker also expects a Trump administration to alter regulations on fuel economy and emissions, adding that while Ford still expects those regulations to stiffen in the next few years, that the pace toward more stringent fuel economy and emissions targets may slow.

The market's reaction to Trump's election has not been overly dramatic, which tells him, Shanks said, that there are expectations of positive effects on the U.S. economy.

"Look at how people seem to be responding, acting, now that (Trump) needs to govern as opposed to campaign. I think it's different. So let's just wait and see," said Shanks. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Chizu Nomiyama, G Crosse)