Ford Motor Company is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations. As part of those actions, which include hiring a new President and CEO (Anning Chen) for Ford China, Ford China is elevated to a stand-alone business unit reporting to Ford global headquarters.
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 comprise Ford’s existing Asia Pacific businesses outside of China and other markets globally—the subject of a future announcement.
Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success.—Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett
The moves are designed to accelerate Ford’s return to profitable growth in China, the world’s largest vehicle market and a key pillar of Ford’s global strategy. Ford says that creating a Ford China business unit will allow for greater focus on the market, faster decision making and increased Chinese leadership within the company.
Chen, a seasoned, highly qualified 25-year auto industry veteran, returns to Ford as president and CEO of Ford China, effective November 1. Chen brings to Ford expertise in leading transformation; establishing alliances and joint ventures; and developing competitive products for China. He will lead the company’s operations in Greater China, including all import and joint venture operations. Prior to this position, Chen served as CEO, Chery Automobile, Ltd. and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chery Jaguar Land Rover, Automotive, China.
At the same time, in creating an International Markets business unit, Ford will capitalize on emerging markets opportunities, reduce bureaucracy, have the right cost structure and improve operational fitness.
Ford is entering a busy period of product renewal in China, including the current high-volume launches of the Ford Territory, Ford Focus and Ford Escort. It’s part of Ford China’s commitment to launch 50 new vehicles by 2025.
In addition, Ford has announced:
Plans to increase local production for Ford and Lincoln;
Significant investment in China-led engineering and R&D;
A new single sales and service channel;
A new joint venture with Zotye for a new line of small battery-electric vehicles;
Strategic alliances with Baidu and Alibaba to explore areas of cooperation in AI, connectivity and digital marketing.