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In Business This Week
A GLOBAL TUNE-UP FOR FORD...
Signaling his intent to strengthen Ford's global competitiveness, Chairman Alexander Trotman on Apr. 20 launched a sweeping reorganization aimed at integrating the carmaker's worldwide operations and "get more firepower from Ford's resources." Trotman's goal: eliminate overlap among Ford units in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America--and save Ford $2 billion to $3 billion a year by the end of the decade. Instead of separate manufacturing, sales, and product-development units for each geographical zone, Trotman will place each function under one executive. Coordinating that new organization will be a new Ford car czar, Edward Hagenlocker, a veteran of Ford's successful truck operations.
Trotman is also trying to streamline Ford's clunky system of developing new vehicles. Ford of Europe Chairman Jacques Nasser will become the product-development chief, overseeing five vehicle platforms, each headed by a vice-president. To overcome existing fiefdoms that have slowed car development in the past, "the people that will run those platforms will be very powerful," says one industry insider. Underscoring that point, Trotman picked William Ford Jr., scion of the founding family, to head large truck development.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS