Hail to the new leader

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL POT­TINGER

THE re­volv­ing door at Ford Aus­tralia keeps turn­ing with the an­nounce­ment of its fifth new chief ex­ec­u­tive since 2004.

Hav­ing been in the job for a lit­tle over two years, Gee­long-born Marin Burela the first Aus­tralian to hold the job since 2005 this week an­nounced he would be re­placed by Amer­i­can ex­ec­u­tive Robert Graziano as of Mon­day.

Graziano, an em­ployee of Ford since 1982, was chair­man and CEO of Ford China. Burela be­comes pres­i­dent of Changan Ford Mazda Au­to­mo­bile Co Ltd in China.

He said this was a ‘‘very sig­nif­i­cant role’’ and cen­tral to Ford’s growth in what is rapidly be­com­ing the world’s biggest auto mar­ket.

‘‘It cer­tainly wasn’t my plan to be here two years only, nor was that the com­pany’s plan,’’ Burela said.

‘‘Only three weeks ago we re­lo­cated our daugh­ter from the UK back to Aus­tralia so she could com­plete her ed­u­ca­tion. The plan was al­ways to stay here.’’

Burela de­nied his sud­den move to a flour­ish­ing mar­ket where some 35 mil­lion ve­hi­cles will sold in the next decade in­di­cated that Aus­tralia was con­sid­ered a low pri­or­ity by Ford.

Burela said Ford ‘‘was in a good place’’.

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