DETROIT — Jim Farley hasn't even started his new job at Ford Motor Co. and already he is getting more responsibility.
The former Toyota executive was hired three weeks ago to head Ford's global marketing. Now, on top of that job, Farley will oversee U.S. sales, marketing and dealer relations.
Ford announced Friday, Nov. 2, that Farley, 45, will assume the duties of Cisco Codina, who retired in September as group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service.
Ford is counting on Farley to jump-start its outreach to consumers who don't even consider Ford products, particularly its cars.
"The team has done a good job, but now we need to bring it to another level in terms of really closing the perception gap that customers have about our products," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. "We need to work even harder to tell people why we deserve a spot on their shopping lists again."
CEO Alan Mulally says getting back on those lists is Ford's biggest challenge.
Farley will report to Fields on his North American duties. He will report to Mulally for his global job as group vice president of marketing and communications. He is expected to begin full time at Ford in mid-November.
Farley's expanded role evolved after he met with Fields during an initial visit to Ford's suburban Detroit headquarters last month. Fields said having Farley in both jobs will enable Ford to make quicker marketing moves.
Ford needs "seamless — but, more importantly, swift — decision making," Fields said.
To get on more shopping lists, Fields plans to build on such campaigns as the Ford Challenge and Swap Your Ride ads that have been running this year. Ford also plans to leverage a recent rash of vehicle quality awards it has received from independent evaluators such as J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports, he said.
Consumer Reports prohibits automakers from advertising its findings. But Fields said Ford now has a strong enough foundation of independent accolades that it can begin marketing the findings more directly to consumers.