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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-07-06, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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US:Ford chief of international operations to retire

Ford chief of international operations to retire

No replacement for Mark Schulz named

Dale Jewett | Automotive News

Mark Schulz, head of international operations for Ford Motor Co., will retire early next year, the automaker said today.

Schulz, 54, heads the automaker’s businesses in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. No replacement was named today.

A Ford spokesman said Schulz will continue to oversee Ford’s international business until his departure. His direct reports include Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group boss Lewis Booth and Asia-Pacific boss John Parker.

His departure date is open-ended at this point. Schulz has indicated he will stay until a replacement is determined, the spokesman said.

A 36-year veteran of the company, Schulz got his start working on an assembly line.

He was considered a rival to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, for COO and a possible eventual replacement of Bill Ford as the automaker’s CEO. Ford hired former Boeing Co. executive Alan Mulally as CEO in September.

One explanation offered by a Ford insider for Schulz’s retirement is his brutal travel schedule and the toll it has taken.

Schulz is known as an engineer who has done well in several overseas assignments, including several years leading Turkish operations. He is considered a detail-oriented operations expert and is a close friend of Bill Ford’s who sometimes plays hockey with the chairman.

Schulz ran Ford’s Sheldon Road climate-control plant in Plymouth Township, Mich., at the same time that Bill Ford headed the climate-control division in the early 1990s.

But Schulz was described by company insiders as sometimes frustrated that Ford Motor hadn’t moved faster in Asia. He strongly advocated that the company expand its global vision.

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.....
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-08-06, 12:19 AM
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Re: US:Ford chief of international operations to retire

It seems unusual that Ford North America has not anticipated the demise
in demand for their petrol guzzlers caused by high petrol prices given that Ford is a true multinational auto manufacturer who has been manufacturing in Europe where petrol prices there have been high for decades.

Recent reports indicating that Ford has had to sell/remortgage up to $16 billion of property as well as considering selling some low volume auto brands
indicates the depth of debt that this once blue chip company now has.

One does not have to be Einstein to work out that European style fuel efficient powertrains coupled with slightly smaller cars and SUVs ought
not to be culture change for Ford. European Ford products competes
favourably with Japanese products in Europe, yet Ford USA is taking a fleecing from these same Japanese auto manufacturers at home.

Perhaps it is time for Ford to second management and production skills from Europe or Mazda Japan so that its lost home market share and profitability can be restored before irreversable damage is done.

There is limited time for Ford's recovery because small Chinese 4 cylinder economical cars are within 2 years of hitting western markets. While some
sceptics may say that these working class gems are of the Tupperware variety, the Chinese, like the Koreans, are likely to allay this scepticism
by substantial warranty programs. And add to that a price label which will not max-out the credit card adds urgency to an already serious predicament.

Moorooka Mick
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