Ford Reorganizes Again Under Product Line Management Flag

Auto on 2018 Ford Motor Proxy

Hapless or visionary CEO?

Ford Motor Company is reorganizing yet again, this time with a “new Enterprise Product Line Management organization.” The Dearborn-based truck maker says it “continues to transform to meet emerging customer needs, drive top-line growth and maximize returns.”

Ford Motor is traveling well-worn pothole ridden roads. The move comes as Ford stock continue to languish below $10 a share of common as Wall Street remains skeptical of its future earnings potential. (see Failing Grade for Ford Motor Q1 Earnings and Ford Proxy – Shareholders Want Political Spending Info) on Ford Reorganization

“Each team will have clear accountability for winning in the marketplace and delivering profitable growth.” So what were they doing before?

The new organization will be led by Jim Baumbick, who is named vice president, Enterprise Product Line Management, and thereby becomes a company officer. He will report to Jim Farley, Ford president, Global Markets.

The new EPLM organization (of course we need an obscure acronym) establishes ten cross-functional teams that will manage distinct product lines as end-to-end businesses and use Ford’s design, advanced product marketing and user experience teams to create products and  – what else – “customer experiences.”

“Our most successful franchises – from F-150 to Mustang to Transit — are anchored in an obsession for the customer, deep product expertise and an unyielding commitment to strong returns,” Farley claimed. “Each team will have clear accountability for winning in the marketplace and delivering profitable growth.”

The Ten Teams:

  • F-Series
  • Urban utilities
  • Rugged utilities
  • Family utilities
  • Performance vehicles
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Compact trucks
  • Luxury vehicles
  • Emerging market vehicles

The product line teams are supposed to be nimble, customer-focused and include cross-functional expertise in engineering, product planning, manufacturing, marketing, and finance. The EPLM teams will work closely with Ford’s Product Development and Marketing organizations, global business units and regional skill teams to create vehicles and bring them to market.

Baumbick, 47, brings 25 years of Product Development experience to his new role. Prior to this –  nota bene: not a mention of Ford 2000 or Richard Parry Jones and his predecessors and successors who steered Ford on this path decades ago – Baumbick served as executive director of Global Product Planning and Strategy. There he led the development of the company’s flexible modular architecture approach, key for Product Development. Baumbick will maintain his present responsibilities within Global Product Planning and Strategy.



About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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