Ford Appoints New CEO To Strengthen Its Market Position In China

Chen is rejoining Ford as new president and chief executive officer to focus on driving sustainable value creation

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Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
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The Chinese automobile industry is flourishing, thanks to domestic manufacturers that are continuously making efforts to preserve the title of world's biggest auto market.

A 2018 report titled "China's Auto Revolution” by says that China is poised to emerge as a major auto exporter, shaking up the global auto market.

Virtually every major global automaker has set up shop in China. These automakers are producing vehicles for both the domestic Chinese market and well as for exports to international markets, the report adds.

Now the American car giant Ford Motor Company is upping its game in the China’s huge car market. The company announced that it is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations to accelerate a return to profitable growth. As part of those actions, Ford China has established a stand-alone business unit reporting to Ford global headquarters.

“Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success. With today’s actions, we are strengthening our commitment to the China market and reorganizing our international markets to strengthen their performance,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and chief executive officer.

Reshuffling Operational Structure In APAC

In addition, Ford has also announced the hiring of Anning Chen as new president and chief executive officer for China operations. Chen, an experienced auto executive with a strong track record in China, is rejoining Ford to focus on driving sustainable value creation. Prior to this position, Chen served as CEO, Chery Automobile, Ltd. and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chery Jaguar Land Rover, Automotive, China.

Peter Fleet, president, Ford Asia Pacific, will facilitate the transition of Chen into his new position as leader of the Ford operations in China. Fleet will also oversee the establishment of a new International Markets business unit, which will initially be comprised of Ford’s existing Asia Pacific businesses outside of China and other markets globally which will be subject of a future announcement.

Building New Focus In China

The moves are designed to accelerate company’s return to profitable growth in China, the world’s largest vehicle market and a key pillar of Ford’s global strategy. Creating a Ford China business unit will allow for greater focus on the market, faster decision making and increased Chinese leadership within the company.

According to Ford's president of global markets, Jim Farley, China is absolutely essential to Ford's profitability and growth.

“As the largest vehicle market in the world, China commands its own leadership and focus. As we transition China to a stand-alone business unit, led by an experienced and talented Chinese business leader, we are able to become more fit as a business, increase our decision-making speed and be closer to our customers,” he added.

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