Move Follows Sagging Auto Sales and Lower Profit Forecasts

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NEW YORK ( -- Beset with slowing sales and burgeoning costs that have forced it to lower its full-year profit forecasts, the Ford Motor Co. said it is shaking up its North American marketing, sales and service group.
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Leaves company
Earl J. Hesterberg, most recently group vice president for North America marketing, sales and service, left Ford for a new job as president-CEO of Group 1 Automotive, a seller of cars and trucks.

Steve Lyons, president of Ford Division, replaces Mr. Hesterberg. Succeeding Mr. Lyons at the Ford Division is Darryl Hazel, president of Lincoln Mercury. Al Giombetti takes over from Mr. Hazel as president of Lincoln Mercury. Mr. Giombetti was general sales manager of Lincoln Mercury and responsible for developing and implementing national sales, production, distribution, incentive and field marketing strategies for the Lincoln Mercury brands.

Lowered profit forecasts
Last Friday, Ford lowered its full-year profit estimates and attributed the drop to rising health-care costs and increased prices for steel and crude oil.

Ford's North American agencies include WPP Group's JWT, Y&R and Ogilvy & Mather. Y&R of Dearborn, Mich., and its Wunderman unit have Lincoln and Mercury; Ogilvy handles Ford's Quality Care parts and services. Last month, Ford shifted advertising duties formerly held byY&R on its Jaguar brand to Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide. Euro also handles Ford's Volvo division.

Based in Dearborn, Ford manufactures and distributes cars in 200 markets in six continents worldwide. Brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo.

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