The company said it earned $989 million, or 25 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated 31 cents. Revenue rose 6% to $35.9 billion. Analysts had estimated $34 billion.
In the same period a year earlier, Ford earned $1.64 billion, or 41 cents a share.
In premarket trading, Ford shares were down 37 cents to $15.95.
Ford said results were reduced by $900 million, or 17 cents a share, because of higher warranty costs, as it increased warranty reserves in North America, and currency exchange effects in South America. "While similar factors could occur in the future, it is unusual for items like these to occur in this magnitude in the same quarter," the automaker said.
The company also reported $100 million in weather-related costs as parts could not be delivered.
First quarter pretax profit was $1.4 billion, down $765 million from the same period a year earlier.
Asia Pacific reported a record profit, while North America and Middle East & Africa were profitable. The loss in Europe was reduced by more than half and the loss in South America increased.
Ford ended the quarter with automotive gross cash of $25.2 billion, exceeding debt by $9.5 billion, and liquidity of $36.6 billion.