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Anning Chen, a former Ford executive, would become CEO and president of Ford China.
Ford names new China CEO, elevates China to standalone unit
Automotive News | 2018/10/26

Ford Motor Co. appointed a new head of its China operations to help turn around flagging sales in the world's largest auto market and fill a post vacated when the automaker's previous China head abruptly stepped down in January.

The U.S. carmaker said in a statement that Anning Chen, a former Ford executive with 25 years of industry experience, would become CEO and president of Ford China. The move is effective Nov. 1.

Ford China would also be elevated to become a standalone business unit, reporting directly to Jim Farley, president of global markets.

Chen previously was CEO of China's Chery Automobile Co., and was chairman at Chery Jaguar Land Rover, Automotive, China, the statement said.

In January, Jason Luo, CEO of Ford China, left his position for personal reasons predating his time at the automaker. 

Ford also announced:

-- Plans to increase local production for Ford and Lincoln.
-- Details on significant investments in China-led engineering and r&d.
-- The creation of a new single sales and service channel.
-- A new joint venture with Zotye for a new line of small battery-electric vehicles.
-- A strategic alliance with Baidu and Alibaba to explore areas of cooperation in artificial intelligence, connectivity and digital marketing.

The moves come at a pivotal time for Ford, which has had its China sales slide sharply this year. Sales in September tumbled 43 percent.

"Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success," Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement.

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