In an attempt to turn around flagging sales in China, Ford has now appointed a new CEO to lead the company in the world’s largest auto market and to fill the vacuum left by the previous head who stepped down from the position in January.
In an official statement that was issued by the company on Tuesday, Ford stated that Anning Chen, a former Ford executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry will assume the position of CEO as well as President of Ford China with effect from November 1.
Apart from that, the company has also suggested that its China wing will be elevated to become a stand-alone business unit, which will report directly to the company’s President of Global Standards, Jim Farley.
Chen previously presided as the leader of China’s Chery Automobile Ltd and was also Chairman at Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, China.
Among its plan to make the China wing a standalone unit, Ford plans to increase local production for Ford and Lincoln, create a new single sales and service channel, and commence a joint venture with Zotye for a new line of a battery-electric vehicle.
Ford is also planning to build a strategic alliance with Baidu as well as Alibaba to explore new areas of cooperation in Artificial Intelligence, connectivity and digital marketing.
“Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement.
“As the largest vehicle market in the world, China commands its own leadership and focus,” Farley added. He said the reorganization would increase the speed of decision-making and help the firm be closer to customers.