DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co’s shift in production at a Michigan plant to trucks from less profitable cars will lead to a more than $1 billion improvement in operating earnings, an official at the No. 2 U.S. automaker said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A 2019 Ford Ranger XLT Super Cab pickup truck is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

The increase in earnings, before interest and taxes, in 2021 compared with 2017 is due to the shift at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, from C-Max hybrids and Focus compact cars to Ranger mid-sized pickup trucks and Bronco SUVs, Ford’s Jim Baumbick, vice president of enterprise product line management, said at a