Ford Motor Company today announced that Steven Armstrong, 55, who is chairman, Ford of Europe, has been named president of the Changan Ford joint venture in China. Armstrong succeeds Nigel Harris, 58, who is retiring from Ford at the end of 2019 after 34 years with the company.
Stuart Rowley was named president, Ford of Europe back on April 1, when Steve Armstrong was named Chairman of Ford Europe (and Ford had both there as it was undergoing its latest transformation plan strategy work – Ford Shakes up European and International Markets as CFO Shanks Retires. Restructuring Continues as Stock Languishes). Stuart is now leader in Europe without the Chairman title. The new role for Armstrong will be effective 1 October. He will report to Ford China President and CEO Anning Chen.
Sales of Chongqing-based Changan Automobile dropped in July continuing a trend. During the seven months of 2019, sales dropped more than 60% compared to the same period a year earlier.
Ford’s overall sales dropped 37% in 2018 in the world’s largest auto market, it claimed it was because of a dearth of new products. During the next three years, Ford says it will launch more than 30 new models in China, one-third of them electric vehicles.
Armstrong brings to China more than 30 years of automotive and Ford experience from a variety of general management and purchasing positions around the world. He has served as president and chairman of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa; president of Ford South America; chief operating officer of Getrag-Ford Transmissions; and in senior leadership positions at both Jaguar Cars and Volvo Cars.
“Steve’s leadership will help us further strengthen the Changan Ford JV as we bring more new vehicles to the China market, including our first global all-electric small SUV,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett.
Harris held leadership roles in Ford business operations and marketing, sales and service over more than 30 years. Prior to his current role, he served as president of Ford India Private Limited; vice president of Asia Pacific Sales, Services and Distribution; and general manager of Changan Ford Sales Company.