De Jonckheere, 57, will depart his post within the next three months. Ford did not immediately name a replacement.
De Jonckheere, a Ford vice president, was sent to South America by former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser in January 2000 to spur a turnaround in that market. Dull cars, labor unrest and a political dispute over subsidies for a new Brazilian assembly plant had plagued the company.
But de Jonckheere was unable to halt Ford's sliding market share in Brazil, and Ford continues to lose money. In the first nine months of 2001, the automaker lost $179 million. On the other hand, Ford's losses actually declined this year. For the first nine months of 2000, Ford had posted a $209 million loss.
Ailing economies in the region's two largest markets, Brazil and Argentina, have hurt many automakers.
Before taking his South American assignment, de Jonckheere was president of Ford operations in Asia-Pacific and Africa. He also was chairman of Ford India Ltd., a position he had held since October 1996. During his Ford career, de Jonckheere has held a variety of product development assignments, including jobs in Brazil and Venezuela.
From 1994 to 1996, de Jonckheere was president of Ford Venezuela. In January 1996, he returned to the United States as engineering director of the Truck Vehicle Center, where he oversaw the development of light trucks.