Ford Motor Co. is turning over its North American market to two powerful leaders: Robert Rewey and Wolfgang Reitzle. Rewey, 61, the global marketing chief, will direct product development, marketing and other functions of the Ford brand. Reitzle, 50, Ford's luxury-car leader, will have similar responsibilities for Lincoln, Volvo, Mercury, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
The shift is part of a global plan to decentralize the company's automotive operations. Regional operations in Europe, South America and Asia Pacific gain more autonomy.
The biggest change is in North America, where Ford is:
Creating Ford North America, a business unit that will develop, build and market Ford brand cars and trucks in the United States, Canada and Mexico under a new vice president, Martin Inglis. Inglis, 49, head of Ford's South American operations, will report to Rewey.
Limiting the role of Ford Division to a dealer liaison while creating separate Ford Car and Ford Truck units reporting to Inglis. Jim O'Connor, 56, who will retain the title of president of Ford Division, will head the dealer relations function.
Placing the Mercury brand within the Premier Automotive Group that includes Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
The Ford reorganization announced Friday, Oct. 15, creates powerful regional organizations built around the company's vehicle brands. This represents a shift from Ford's 5-year-old global reorganization, called Ford 2000, which centered control in the company's Dearborn headquarters.
The changes 'build on the strengths of Ford 2000 by adding a brand and regional influence that will allow us to better connect with consumers,' said CEO Jac Nasser, 51. The reorganization and executive changes take effect Jan. 1.
Reitzle, the former BMW AG product development chief hired by Ford in March, now oversees Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin globally. He will have a stronger hand in the development and marketing of Lincoln and Mercury products in the United States.
Four executives are responsible for the Ford brand worldwide: Rewey in North America; Nick Scheele, 55, chairman Ford Europe; Carlos Mazzorin, 58, group vice president of global purchasing and South America; and Vaughn Koshkarian, 58, vice president of Ford Asia Pacific.
Rewey, whose new title is group vice president of global consumer services and North America, retains most of his former responsibilities while gaining new functions.
Global marketing, dealer development, the company's new electronic commerce business unit, the Ford Customer Service Division and the subsidiary overseeing dealership consolidation still will report to Rewey, who has been group vice president of marketing, sales and service.
Rewey's oversight of Lincoln and Mercury will weaken as Reitzle's responsibility strengthens. But Rewey now becomes responsible for the product development, manufacturing and marketing of Ford brand cars and trucks in North America, expanding his role beyond traditional marketing functions.
INGLIS: RISING STAR
Inglis, vice president of Ford North America, will report to Rewey. Inglis is now president of South American Operations.
Four vice presidents will report to Inglis: O'Connor, Ford Division president; Chris Theodore, 49, vice president of North America Car; Gurminder Bedi, 52, vice president of North America Truck; and Bobbie Gaunt, 52, president of Ford of Canada Ltd.
Minivans will be developed within the car group.
The company did not detail the role of Ford Division in the new organization.
'Ford Division is the sales face off to the dealers,' said David Murphy, vice president of human resources.
Mercury is being rolled into the Premier luxury car group primarily because Mercury dealerships are often paired with Lincoln franchises, he said.
Mazda remains a free-standing unit.