Joseph Liu, who worked for General Motors as a sales and marketing manager, has now been tapped by Ford to join its Chinese division – a move described as being a gain for the second largest US automaker.
Liu was one of the crucial executives that set up GM’s Buick and other brands of the US conglomerate among the leading passenger car forces in the country that has become the world’s largest auto market since 2009. The 57-year-old has ample experience and has been described by ex-colleagues of the automotive industry as being insightful, though the latter refrained from being named as they are not allowed to publicly comment on the matter. Ford announced through an internal memo the appointment of Liu as the Chinese unit’s vice president of marketing and sales. He had retired earlier in 2014 from the position of executive vice president of GM’s main joint venture in China. The appointment comes in troubled times for both Ford and the other global automakers with operations in China, as the country’s auto market has taken a negative turn due to the economical slowdown – tipped to have the weakest growth in two and a half decades – as well as the recent stock market rout.
Ford’s own sales have followed the market slump, with July figures totaling 77,100 autos – down six percent year over year – while total sales after the first seven months being 0.7 percent lower than during the same period last year for the carmaker that is sixth by sales in China.