U.S.A.:Ford names Europe chief - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Forum Ford Forum

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
» Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > Latest Ford News and Racing News > Ford Worldwide News
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Auto Loans Garage Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow

FordForums.com is the premier Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-27-2003, 06:48   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Stacy94PGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Posts: 7,859
U.S.A.:Ford names Europe chief

Mazda president will lead troubled operations that lost $774 million in first half of 2003

By Mark Truby / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. has named Lewis Booth, president of Mazda Motor Corp., as the new head of its struggling European operations, the company announced Tuesday night.

Booth, 54, becomes president and chief operating officer of Ford of Europe, replacing Martin Leach, who resigned earlier this month.

Leach was under pressure after Ford of Europe missed its financial goals for several straight quarters and lost $774 million through the first half of 2003.

To fill Booth's position, Mazda's board of directors named Hisakazu Imaki, 60, president of the Hiroshima, Japan-based automaker. Imaki becomes the first Japanese president of Ford-controlled Mazda since 1996.

In addition, Mazda named John Parker, 55, as executive vice president and assistant to the president. Parker had been running Ford's operations in Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

Booth, a native of Liverpool, England, and veteran of Ford postings around the world, faces a difficult test.

Cologne Germany-based Ford of Europe, touted as one of Ford's greatest strengths as recently as last year, has become a serious threat to the automaker's turnaround goals. Booth will report to Executive Vice President David Thursfield, who has been working intensively in recent weeks to revive Ford of Europe.

"Lewis Booth has had broad experience in many regions across the Ford world and is no stranger to our operations in Europe," Thursfield said. "Lewis is in a great position to address the challenges we face in Europe and to spur us back into a position of sustained profitability."

In the past three years, Ford of Europe has tightened its belt, cutting 2,000 jobs, eliminating 600,000 units of capacity by closing three plants and ending car production in the United Kingdom. Key plants were reconfigured to be flexible enough to turn out multiple models.

The turnaround plan, though, lost all momentum this year. While Ford's unit sales, revenues and market share are up this year in Europe, the company blames falling net prices, an unfavorable product mix and lower industry sales for wider losses.

While Ford of Europe's new product line has been well-received by critics, Ford has struggled to win new buyers from competitors. Ford of Europe's market share remains at 9 percent -- up slightly from last year but well below historical levels.

In 1994, Ford of Europe grabbed 12.1 percent of the market, then lost share in each of the next six years.
__________________
Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
Stacy94PGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-27-2003, 12:28   #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Stacy94PGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Posts: 7,859
Mazda boss to run Ford's struggling Europe unit

Reuters / August 27, 2003

TOKYO/FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co., tapped the head of its Japanese affiliate Mazda Motor Corp. to steer its loss-making European arm through a turnaround program.

In a surprise announcement, Mazda said on Wednesday that Lewis Booth, who became president just over a year ago after running Ford's Asia-Pacific and Africa operations, would be replaced by a 38-year veteran of the Japanese company.

His successor, Hisakazu Imaki, will be the first Japanese and the first Mazda insider at the helm since Ford took a controlling minority stake in the company in 1996.

"Unfortunately 10 days ago the president of Ford Europe unexpectedly resigned," Booth told a news conference in Japan, acknowledging his move was unexpected.

"The future of Ford Europe is very important not just for Ford but for Mazda as well," he said.

Booth, who pledged to stick to Ford Europe's strategy, has a tough job ahead given the current environment of falling demand, pricing pressure and overcapacity in the region.

Ford Europe has in the last three years cut costs, shut plants and launched new models to gain long-term profitability.

"I don't believe this is a time for tearing up plans. It is a time to implement plans the team has put in place," Booth later told reporters from Europe on a conference call.

In the three months to end-June, the unit of Ford, itself battling against tough U.S. market conditions in its centenary year, posted a pre-tax loss of $525 million, blaming mainly a drop in car demand and fierce pricing competition.

A month later Martin Leach resigned as the unit's president and chief operating officer.

RETURN TO PROFIT

David Thursfield, Ford's executive vice president for international operations and global purchasing, said he hoped Ford Europe would return to profit by the end of the year.

"I would be disappointed if we don't return to profit in the fourth quarter," he said, noting the third quarter was traditionally weak.

He said the environment in Europe was getting tougher but Ford Europe would respond, declining to give details.

Some analysts questioned whether existing plans would be enough to engineer a turnaround.

"There are structural issues on both the cost side and the product side which need to be addressed at Ford Europe," said Michael Raab, an auto analyst at Sal Oppenheim in Frankfurt.

The unit lost market share in the late 1990s as its products' appeal faded and it missed out on the start of Europe's diesel boom.

With 2002 sales of 1.5 million units, it remains larger than Mazda, which sold just over one million cars globally in the last business year.

But Mazda, while still a minor player in western Europe with less than a two percent market share, is growing faster than its rivals with popular new models such as the Mazda6/Atenza sedan.

The Hiroshima-based company's sales in Europe rose 34 percent in the three months to June, helping to boost overall revenue by 10 percent, and it expects to post its highest operating profit in a decade in the current year to March 2004.

Booth said that, while the timing of his departure was a surprise even to him, he was confident the transition would be seamless because of his successor's experience.

Imaki, 60, will be Mazda's sixth president in seven years.

UBS Securities analyst Takaki Nakanishi said Imaki, as a Japanese national and Mazda veteran, may well stay in the post for a lengthy period, allowing a consistent strategy to develop.

"We believe this personnel reshuffle could be very positive for morale at Mazda and we have considerable expectations for the Imaki team," Nakanishi said in a note.
__________________
Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
Stacy94PGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > Latest Ford News and Racing News > Ford Worldwide News



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford names PR leader Vella its new chief of staff Stacy94PGT Ford Worldwide News 0 04-23-2003 00:06
Ford names new labor chief Stacy94PGT Ford Worldwide News 0 02-12-2003 23:56
European Automotive Hall Of Fame Stacy94PGT Ford Worldwide News 0 12-16-2002 07:54
Ford Europe Unit to Post 2002 Profit RPO83 Ford Worldwide News 0 12-05-2002 06:13
Bill Ford, Speech At Europe International Automotive Roundtable, Paris Stacy94PGT Ford Worldwide News 0 09-26-2002 08:31

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:20.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.