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HP inks printer deal with Ford

The multimillion-dollar contract, HP's largest ever for printer services, gives momentum to the company's push to sign consulting and management deals built on its ink savvy.

Hewlett-Packard has snagged a multimillion-dollar printing deal with Ford Motor, the latest in a series of contracts designed to expand its empire of ink.

With the deal, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computing behemoth displaces Xerox as Ford's printing and imaging specialist, according to HP. The contract, expected to be announced on March 9, is HP's largest of its kind ever, it said.

HP has been on a push since last March to try to sign more companies up for printing services deals. By May, it said it had landed printer services contracts worth $500 million since launching the effort.

In November, the company said it would expand further into offering copier-based multifunction devices to better compete against the sorts of copier devices sold by Xerox and others. (The copier engine technology is provided by Konica Minolta.) Its rivals now include IBM, which recently started to offer printing and imaging services.

The printer services market and the

In the first quarter, printing and imaging accounted for $6.2 billion in revenue and $968 million in operating profit at the company. By contrast, the PC unit accounted for $6.2 billion in revenue and $62 million in operating profit.

HP didn't indicate whether the Ford deal involved equipment or services, but said that the deal would cut costs for Ford, which indicates that outsourcing is involved.