Ford has announced a big change with its Changan Ford Chinese joint venture leadership. The Changan Ford joint venture is getting a new president with the current president, Nigel Harris, choosing to retire at the end of 2019 after working at Ford for 34 years. Harris will be replaced in his role by Steven Armstrong, current chairman of Ford Europe.
Armstrong will move into his new role as president of Changan Ford on October 1 and will report to Ford China President and CEO Anning Chen. Ford notes that Armstrong has more than 30 years of automobile and Ford experience and has worked in a variety of roles, including general management and purchasing.
During his career, Armstrong has served as president and chairman of Ford of Europe, Middle East, and Africa; president of Ford South Africa, CEO of Getrag-Ford Transmissions. He has held senior leadership positions in Jaguar Cars and Volvo Cars.
During his 30 years of service at Ford, Harris has had leadership positions in Ford business operations, marketing, sales, and service. He served as president of Ford India Private Limited, vice president of Asia Pacific Sales, Services, and Distribution, and GM of Changan Ford Sales Company. Ford notes that Harris and Armstrong will work closely together during the transition and will then advise Changan Ford and support the evolution of the Ford China 2.0 plan until he retires.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett said that Harris is a “highly seasoned executive” that has motivated people around the globe. Hackett said of Armstrong that his leadership will help further strengthen the Changan Ford joint venture as more vehicles are brought to the Chinese market. The Changan Ford joint venture was fined $23.5 million this year for allegedly depriving downstream dealers of pricing autonomy among other things.