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FORD of Europe strengthems sales organization in response to growing vehicle demand


COLOGNE,– With strong demand for Ford of Europe’s latest range of vehicles boosting sales for the first half of 2007, the company is strengthening its European Sales Operations teams to better position itself for continuing growth in its markets.

Two regional sales organizations are being established to respond more quickly to the dynamics of the traditional Western European countries and also take advantage of sales opportunities in growth markets. The two new organisations will cover specific regions.

Experienced leadership
Two highly experienced and senior members of the Ford of Europe management team will head up the new organisations.

Massimo Pasanisi, currently the Managing Director of Ford Italy, will lead the Western European Sales Operations group as Director, while Peter Fleet, currently Ford of Europe’s Director for Commercial Vehicles Marketing and Sales, is named Director of the Central European and Nordics Region Sales Operations group.

“Massimo has made a tremendous contribution to our success in Ford Italy, regularly topping the foreign brand sales charts,” said Ingvar Sviggum, Vice president, European Sales Organisation. “Under Massimo’s leadership and through the first half of 2007 our sales there have increased by over 13 per cent compared to a year ago.”

“Peter Fleet has led our highly successful Commercial Vehicle marketing team in Europe for the last three years, during which time we have completely renewed our model range. During this period Ford CV sales have increased by more than a quarter, over 150 new CV Specialist dealers have been appointed and the New Ford Transit was acclaimed as International Van of the Year 2007. Through the first half 2007 CV sales grew by 6.8 per cent versus last year. Continued success in this market segment is critical to sustained business success for Ford of Europe, and Peter has put all of the building blocks in place,” Sviggum added.

“This bespoke organisation will allow us to respond more effectively to the dynamics in the traditional European markets plus take advantage of sales opportunities in growth markets, like Russia and Turkey,” he concluded.

Ford Russia Management Change
Coincidentally, Ford Russia is also announcing a key management change.

From September 1, Nigel Brackenbury, currently General Manager of the Global Marketing Division of Mazda Motor Corporation, will take the reins as President and Managing Director of Ford Russia, replacing Henrik Nenzen.

Nenzen will take up the position as European Director Commercial Vehicles within Ford of Europe, replacing Peter Fleet. A Ford veteran who has served 36 years with the company, Nenzen has led the Ford Russian operations for the past seven years. During his leadership Ford sales in Russia have risen from 1,400 in 2000 to 115,000 units in 2006, while through the first half of 2007 sales reached a record 81,782 units. The Ford Focus has become the best-selling car among non-Russian brands for four consecutive years and the blue oval has held market leadership among foreign brands since 2006.

“Henrik’s impact on our success story in Russia can not be understated,” said Sviggum. “He has turned our operation in Russia into an industry leader, a position we intend to maintain.”

Nigel Brackenbury joined Mazda in July 2000 at the company’s European headquarters, located in Leverkusen, Germany, where as Sales Director he led key distribution initiatives. Prior to joining Mazda, he worked for Ford Motor Company in Russia, where he established and headed the national sales company. He has lived and worked in Japan, Europe, Russia and North America.

“I am very pleased to welcome Nigel back to Ford and Russia. He has gathered extensive international automotive marketing and sales experience and I am confident his professional track record will be instrumental in keeping up the momentum at Ford Russia. Nigel will take over a great and thriving organisation, which will keep growing under his leadership,” noted Ingvar Sviggum.

Gathering Strength
Ford continues to strengthen its sales and market position in Russia. Through the first half of this year, Ford sales in Russia were 81,782 units, 122 per cent higher than the same period in 2006, when 36,826 vehicles were sold.

“We are deploying our senior management talents in areas which are key to Ford of Europe’s future. Furthermore, we are strengthening an organization that, under Ingvar, is enjoying real success and already helping to grow our business substantially,” said Stephen Odell, Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Services, Ford of Europe.


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