Ford Asia-Pa­cific pres­i­dent shakes up cor­po­rate cul­ture

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - MOTORING - LI FUSHENG

Busi­ness meet­ings are an in­te­gral part of cor­po­rate life, but Pe ter Flee t, the ne wly ap­pointed pres­i­dent of Ford Mo­tor Asia-Pa­cific, has de­cided to slash them in his com­pany.

“Large com­pa­nies seem to thrive on hav­ing meet­ings,” said the Bri­ton who has worked for Ford for 28 years, “but (con­sid­er­ing) the speed at which the busi­ness and the mar­ket is chang­ing, we need to give our peo­ple more time to think, to do and to act, and less time spent on meet­ings, dis­cussing all those things and get­ting ap­proval from me.”

Fleet be­lieves it is nec­es­sary for the com­pany to be­come more nim­ble in or­der to re­al­ize the goals set af­ter the top man­age­ment reshuf­fle in May: sharp­en­ing oper­a­tional ex­e­cu­tion, mod­ern­iz­ing its busi­ness and trans­form­ing it­self to meet fu­ture chal­lenges.

He said busi­nesses in the past used to rely heav­ily on a hi­er­ar­chi­cal, com­mand-and­con­trol process, but suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies are usu­ally at their best when peo­ple work in small teams, when they are highly em­pow­ered and when they are given time to think.

“So, on a per­sonal level I will be seek­ing to ex­tract the best ef­forts and force from the whole or­ga­ni­za­tion about how we mod­ern­ize our busi­ness and in­vent our fu­ture,” he said.

Fleet said one of the first things he did af­ter he took up the new post was to set up a spe­cific email ad­dress for em­ploy­ees to make any sug­ges­tions that can help to grow the busi­ness.

“In a cou­ple of days, about 100 spe­cific ideas have been re­ceived,” he said.

Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion

Fo r b u s i n e s s s t r a t e g i e s , Fleet said elec­tri­fi­ca­tion will be one of the com­pany’s most im­por­tant ap­proaches, es­pe­cially in China.

“Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pol­icy is ex­tremely clear as to where the au­to­mo­tive mar­ket is get­ting to go, and over the course of the next few years, the mar­ket is go­ing to move ex­tremely quickly,” he said.

Fleet said Ford has worked out a de­tailed plan, which would be soon re­leased. Among them, its first lo­cally made plug-in hy­brid is ex­pected to roll off the assem­bly line in 2018, and a small fully-elec­tric SUV will be in­tro­duced in China within five years.

By 2025, 70 per­cent of all Ford name­plates in China will have elec­tri­fied powertrain op­tions, in­clud­ing the full range of name­plates pro­duced by its joint ven­ture Changan Ford.

Cur­rently, Fleet said Ford plans to make the most of Chi­nese peo­ple’s en­thu­si­asm for SUVs.

Statis­tics from the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers show that SUV sales soared nearly 19 per­cent year-on-year to 4.67 mil­lion in the first half of the year.

Ford has in­tro­duced its full lineup of SUVs, rang­ing from its Ecosport and Kuga to the Edge and Ex­plorer, and is tai­lor­ing some of them to unique Chi­nese de­mands.

“T h e Fo r d E d ge w e s e l l all around the rest of the world, in the United States, in Canada and Europe, is a two-row ve­hi­cle, but uniquely for China it is a length­ened ve­hi­cle with full three-row ca­pa­bil­ity.”

En­ter­ing the Chi­nese mark e t i n 1 9 9 5 , Fo r d h a d i t s best June sales in China last month, hit­ting 100,561 ve­hi­cles, for 15 per­cent growth year-on-year, which brought its sales in the first half of the year to 537,000 ve­hi­cles.

sold by Ford last month in China

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Peter Fleet, pres­i­dent of Ford Mo­tor Asia-Pa­cific, said elec­tri­fi­ca­tion will be a key for the com­pany’s ap­proaches in China.

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