Ford France Automobiles has named Eric Saint Frison president.
Saint Frison replaces Claude Brunet, who resigned to become president of AXA insurance company. The change comes as Ford streamlines its marketing and sales operations in France and Europe.
Saint Frison, 43, is responsible for all operations in France, including Ford's transmission factory in Bordeaux. Ford has about 5,000 employees in France and had sales of $2.7 billion last year.
Saint Frison says Ford's market share in France should be 7 percent, a level he wants to achieve in 18 months. Ford sold 145,000 vehicles in France in 2000 for 5.5 percent of the market. A Ford spokeswoman says the arrival of the new Mondeo helped Ford push its share beyond 6 percent in March.
Saint Frison was sales and marketing manager for France, effectively second-in-command to Brunet.
Marc Lasnier has been named sales director, and Gilles Moynier has been named marketing director. Both report directly to Saint Frison. In addition, Ford France formed a department to restructure the French dealer network.
Ford had 300 main dealers in France in 1996. Restructuring efforts have reduced that number to 160. The ultimate goal is 130.