US car giant Ford's first-quarter profit plunged 39% on weaker sales in its key North America market amid severe winter weather. 

Net income was $989m in the first three months of the year, down from $1.6 billion a year ago, the Ford Motor Company said today

Adjusted earnings of 25 cents per share came in six cents below Wall Street expectations. Revenue edged up to $35.9 billion. 

Ford, the second-largest US car maker, said wholesale auto sales in North America fell 2% in volume and revenue declined 4%.

North America pre-tax profit fell to $1.5 billion, down $892m from the year ago record profit.

The decline was in part due to higher costs of $500m linked to weather-related charges and vehicle recalls.

Global car sales volume rose 6% and revenue climbed 1% from the first quarter in 2013.

Ford confirmed its 2014 full-year outlook for profit between $7 billion to $8 billion. The Michigan-based company plans to launch 23 new global vehicles this year.

"We had a solid quarter, and we are on track with our most aggressive product launch schedule in our history," Ford president and chief executive Alan Mulally said in a statement.