Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a $551 million loss in the second quarter, or 30 cents a share, excluding costs of replacing 13 million Firestone tires, beating Wall Street expectations.

A consensus of financial analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had predicted Ford would lose 34 cents a share. Including the costs of the replacement program, Ford lost $752 million or 41 cents a share.

Ford in May announced it would replace 13 million Firestone tires at a cost of $3 billion, or $2.1 billion after taxes.

Ford says so far about 2 million tires have been replaced, and it expects to complete the program by the first quarter of 2002.

Restructuring charges for Mazda Motor Corp., of which Ford owns a one-third interest, and an accounting charge also had a negative impact on Ford's bottom line.

Ford said all the costs of the replacement program were reflected in the second quarter.

During the second quarter of 2000, Ford earned $2.53 billion, or $1.18 a share, excluding charges for a European restructuring and the spinoff of its Visteon unit.

Ford said its worldwide vehicle sales during the second quarter of 2001 were down 7 percent compared with the second quarter of 2000.

Revenues were $42.31 billion, a 5 percent decline from the second quarter revenue a year ago.

Ford reported a second quarter loss of $1.14 billion in North America, compared with a profit of $1.84 billion for the same three-month period a year ago.

The world's No. 2 automaker said it earned $141 million in Europe during the second quarter compared to earnings of $156 million last year.