Ford centralizes European marketing strategy

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LONDON -- Ford Motor Company is beefing up its central marketing operation for Europe with senior level appointments as part of a move to inject consistency in brand management between countries.

The aim is for car models to be marketed across Europe according to a strategy determined at the European headquarters in Brentwood, Essex in the U.K.. Currently, individual countries decide on their own marketing plans.

The centralization process is part of the global Ford 2000 re-organization program, introduced to Europe in 1995, to squeeze extra efficiencies from the company's operations. It is also, says Don Hume, global news manager for Ford in Europe, "because we've realized the value of brand management as a marketing tool. Now we are treating each model individually because they are addressing different segments of the market."

Massimo Ghenzer, chairman of Ford Italy, has been assigned strategic responsibility for brand management throughout Europe and Philippe Mellier, formerly president of Ford Mexico, has been named executive director of European sales operations, with responsibility for regional sales markets. Both will report to Keith Magee, Ford Motor Company's vice president of European sales and marketing, who is based at Brentwood. A small central marketing department already exists at Brentwood, though it has mainly had an advisory function until now, says Hume.

The ramifications of the move on marketing departments in Ford's individual markets are still to be worked out, says Hume.

Mellier's replacement in Mexico is Jose Manuel Machado, who was previously president and director general at Ford Venezuela/Colombia.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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