Europe: Ford’s new regional head of operations eager to return here image

Jim Farley was announced by Ford’s CEO Mark Fields to be the new chief of European operations since January 1, 2015. He’s not here for the first time, though, as his first European tour of duty saw him at Toyota almost 20 years ago.

Back in 1997 – Farley recalls – the largest automaker in the world, Japan’s Toyota had him leading advance product planning for the region, even though he was clueless when it comes to Europe’s dominant subcompact car segment.

“When I landed in Brussels, the company was completely importing Japanese models and they did not have one exclusive product built just for Europe,” says Farley. “They said, ‘We want to be in the B segment’ – I didn’t even know what the B segment was.”

Farley, who is going to be president of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa, says he is eager to learn it all once more, as his assignment sees him now in Cologne, Germany has a tough job ahead. The US carmaker and many other mass-market rivals are still struggling in the region after a six-year decline in sales that took deliveries near a two-decade low. And back in September, investors saw a very dreadful outlook for the region, as Ford now expects to loose $1.2 billion in Europe in 2014 and another $250 million in 2015 – even though previously next year was supposed to hit the break even threshold.

Via Automotive News Europe