Let's look more closely now to the financial highlights for the quarter. Slide 4 summarizes our first quarter business results compared with a year ago.
Wholesale volume was about 1.4 million units, down 45,000 units or 3% from a year ago. Revenue was about $32 billion, a decline of $700 million or about 2%. Pretax operating profit, excluding special items, was $2.3 billion, $544 million lower than a year ago. Earnings were $0.39 per share, $0.08 lower than last year's earnings per share, adjusted for the tax valuation allowance release. Net income attributable to Ford, including the unfavorable pretax special items of $255 million, was $1.4 billion or $0.35 per share, a $1.2 billion decrease from a year ago. And about half of that increase in net income reflects higher tax expense related to the valuation allowance released in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the balance explained by lower operating results and increased special charges.
Automotive operating-related cash flow was $900 million, the eighth consecutive quarter of positive performance. We ended the quarter with $23 billion of Automotive gross cash and with Automotive gross cash exceeding debt by $9.3 billion. This is a net cash improvement of $4.6 billion compared with a year ago.
Overall, we had a strong start to the year, reflecting the continued success of our ONE Ford plan.There are a number of other business highlights in the quarter as shown on Slide 5. First, we continued our strong cadence of global new product introductions and concept reveals, starting with the EcoSport in India and Brazil, followed by the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ Concept in the U.S. In Europe, we also introduced the B-MAX, the Fiesta ST, the Kuga and Tourneo Custom Concept. In March, our CFMA joint venture opened a second assembly plant in Chongqing, increasing our passenger car capacity in China by 1/3. We delivered our 4 million SYNC system in the U.S. and announced that the new B-MAX will be the first product in Europe to offer SYNC.