LONDON - While Ford awaits reinforcements for its aging product lineup in Europe, the job of tending the brand image and improving sales falls to former Jaguar Chairman Nick Scheele.
Scheele, credited as Jaguar's savior during seven years as boss, has been appointed senior vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford of Europe. Scheele, interviewed before the first-quarter sales figures from ACEA, the European automakers' association, showed a sharp drop in Ford's market share, hinted how he will approach his new job.
'The Ford brand is very well positioned in the U.K.,' Scheele said. 'Ford has led the U.K. market for 20-plus years and is very well regarded for its dealer strength and its spread of offerings. It isn't so well regarded in other countries. Building Ford up in other countries to the same level as the U.K. is one job you've got to tackle pretty urgently.
'Ford has a superb palette of models in Europe,' he said. 'Yet in some markets, people seem to have forgotten them. The Mondeo and Fiesta are good models.'
Scheele, who speaks German fluently, made it his personal task to improve Jaguar sales in Germany. He promises to do the same with Ford.