Joe Hinrichs will become Ford’s president, automotive, from May 1, as one of a series of top management changes the company is making during its ongoing, worldwide reorganisation. Hinrichs has served the OEM for 19 years, most recently leading its global operations.

 ”Joe Hinrichs possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to now take our automotive business to world-class levels of product excellence, customer satisfaction, efficiency and financial performance,” said president and CEO Jim Hackett.

 “As we enter a busy period for new product launches and further restructuring in underperforming markets, Joe’s leadership in transforming businesses through focused execution will be key.”

 As executive vice-president and president of Ford’sglobal operations, Hinrichs currentlyhasresponsibility for manufacturing and labour affairs; quality; information technology; sustainability; environmental and safety engineering; order-to-delivery;and the customer service division.

 In his new role, he will be in charge of the North America, South America, Europe, China and international markets business units.

Hinrichs will also oversee the Ford and Lincoln brands, as well as lead Ford’s teams: product development; purchasing; enterprise product line management; manufacturing and labour affairs; marketing; sales and service; quality and new model launch; sustainability; environmental and safety engineering; information technology; customer experience; and government affairs.

Hinrichs began his career at Ford in 2000 as plant manager of the Van Dyke transmission factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Before that, he was a partner and senior vice-president of manufacturing investment group Ryan Enterprises in Chicago and spent ten years at General Motors,including timeas a plant manager.

Other senior appointmentsAlso from May 1, Jim Farley will become president, new businesses, technology and strategy, with a mission, the company says, to spearhead its transformation into a higher growth, higher margin business through the use of smart, connected vehicles and “breakthrough customer experiences”. He moves from being executive vice-president and president of global markets.

 In his new role, Farley will oversee corporate strategy; global data insights and analytics; global partnerships; research and advanced engineering; and Ford’s smart mobility and autonomous vehicles (AVs).

 “[His new] job is to drive us into the future, both strategically and operationally, from AVs to mobility experiences to leveraging AI [artificial intelligence] and big data,” said CEO Hackett. “Jim combines an innate feel for what customers want and need in vehicles and the ability to translate this into the vehicles and services of the future.”

 Meanwhile, after 36 years with the company,Marcy Klevorn, president of Ford Mobility, has announced plans to retire on October1. Until then, the OEM says, she will work with senior leaders on majortransformational opportunities, forming partnerships with key technology partners and supporting the company’s diversity efforts.

 Elsewhere, Ford China has named Song Yang as president of its national distribution services division (NDSD), effective immediately. His responsibilities will be to drive sales, build brand image and enhance customer experience, as well astoimprove the execution of new vehicle launches and dealer profitability.

 He has almost 25 years of experience in marketing and sales in China and the US, most recently as CEO of German carmaker Borgward. He has also held senior leadership positions at Dongfeng Nissan and Nissan US.

 “Song brings significant experience in business operations, marketing, sales and service that will be invaluable for us to combine the ‘Best of Ford’ and ‘Best of China’ as we work toward our goal of becoming the world’s most trusted company in the largest automotive market,” said Anning Chen, president and CEO of Ford China.

 NDSD’s acting president,Joseph Liu, will remain part of Ford China’s leadership team and his new position will be announced at a future date, the company stated.

 “We thank Joseph for his leadership and dedication to the NDSD during this time of transition,” said Chen. “In a short period of time, he reset the team, collaborated closely with our dealers and successfully launched the all-new Ford Territory.”