BEIJING / SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Ford has appointed a new head of the Chinese office to improve its flagging sales in the world's largest auto market. He has occupied a job that has been vacant since January, after the former head of China suddenly quit.
Anning Chen, former Chery Jaguar Land Rover in China, and previously also for Ford, will be the new CEO of the US automaker from 1 November.
The move comes at a crucial time for Ford seen China's sales decline sharply this year. September sales fell 43 percent.
"Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success," said Jim Hackett, Ford CEO, in a statement.
Ford China will also become an independent business unit, reporting directly to the global headquarters. Chen reports to Jim Farley, president of global markets.
"As the largest vehicle market in the world, China has its own leadership and focus," said Farley. The restructuring would increase decision-making speed and improve customer proximity.
Chen's predecessor, Jason Luo, abruptly retired in January of this year, after leading the US automaker's Chinese operation for about five months.
(edited by Stephen Coates and Edwina Gibbs)