Ford Motor Company, American multinational automaker based in Michigan, announced On Oct. 23 that it has established an independent China Business Unit that reports directly to the headquarters.
“Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett. “With today’s actions, we are strengthening our commitment to the Chinese market and reorganizing our international markets to strengthen their performance.”
Anning Chen, the former CEO of the Chinese automaker Chery Automobile is appointed president and CEO of Ford China, effective on November 1, 2018. According to public disclosure, Chen has 25 years of experience in the automobile industry. He had been working for Ford for almost 20 years before he joined Chery Automobile as CEO in 2010.
The company is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations to accelerate a return to profitable growth. This rearrangement will make China a core market for Ford, which will be of the same significance as the North American market.
Previously, Ford divided its global market into several strategic segments: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East-Africa and Asian-Pacific. The Chinese market used to fall under the category of the Asian-Pacific market.
Even before this announcement, Ford had made several deployments in the Chinese market. In 2017, Ford announced the “China 2025 plan”, aiming to launch over 50 new vehicles in China by the end of 2025, including eight types of SUVs and at least 15 Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles.
Ford has also made attempts on the Internet of Vehicles and mobile travel in China. It has signed strategic cooperation agreements with Baidu and Alibaba, China’s Internet giants, working to explore areas of cooperation in Artificial Intelligence, autonomous driving, connectivity and digital marketing.