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Ford Makes China Operations a Stand-Alone Business Unit


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Ford Motor Co. has restructured its global operations, promoting China to its own business unit that reports directly to headquarters.

The move aims to strengthen Ford’s performance in China, where it lags its competitors in sales and profitability. The company says creating Ford China as a freestanding business unit will enable greater market focus and faster decision making.

The new unit will be headed by Anning Chen (pictured), effective Nov. 1. Chen began his career in 1992 at Ford, where he held several management roles related to joint ventures and the development of product and technology platforms over 17 years. He most recently was CEO of China’s Chery Automobile Ltd.

Ford’s sales in China fell 6% last year, plunged more than 20% in the first half of 2018 and plummeted 43% last month. The company posted a pretax loss of $483 million in China in the second quarter.

Jason Luo, who headed Ford’s operations in China, cited personal reasons for his decision to quit in January after less than six months on the job. His departure came a month after Ford announced plans to update its product lineup in China by introducing 50 new or refreshed models there by 2025. The first of those models, the Territory midsize SUV, debuted earlier this month.

Separately, Ford has assigned Peter Fleet, president of Ford Asia Pacific, to facilitate the separation of Ford China and launch a new International Markets business group. The new entity will consist initially of all Ford Asia Pacific operations outside China. The company says a future announcement will explain how other overseas businesses will fit into the new group.

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