* Ford Motor Co. yesterday declared a regular quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share, the highest since the first half of 1980.
The No. 2 U.S. auto maker said the 20 percent increase from the first quarter of 1985 reflects the company's strong earnings and cash flow position.
Ford reported a record $2.9 billion profit for 1984.
The 60-cent dividend is payable June 1 to shareholders of record on May 2. Ford currently has 187 million shares outstanding.
Prior to the 50-cent dividend paid in the first quarter of 1985, Ford paid 40 cents per share in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 1984, company spokesman Tony Fredo said. Ford paid an extra dividend of 50 cents per share in the final 1984 quarter, he said.
The latest dividend is the highest since the first half of 1980, when Ford paid a dividend of almost 67 cents after a three-for-two stock split in October 1983 that restated all prior dividends, Fredo said.
A 1980 loss of $1.54 billion caused Ford to slash its dividend to 20 cents a share in the remaining two quarters of the year. Volkswagen, West Germany's leading car maker, announced yesterday that it plans to pay its shareholders a dividend of five marks ($1.60) per share, their first dividend since 1981.
Despite a metal industry strike that blocked production and forced a cut in scheduled output to 160,000 cars early last summer, Volkswagen increased sales last year by 14 percent to a record 45.7 billion marks ($14.8 billion) and raised output by 1.8 percent to 2.15 million cars.
VW cut payment of dividends when poor sales in the United States and Latin America as well as high investment costs for a new version of its strong-selling Golf model left it with group losses of 300 million marks ($97 million) in 1982 and 215 million marks ($70 million) in 1983. But the strength of the dollar and the surging U.S. economy boosted imports to the American market.