Ford of Europe announces new director of electrified vehicles
8 November 2018
Ford of Europe has announced the appointment of Steve Hood in the newly created position of director, electrified vehicles, as the business continues to align itself with the new technology.
The company is planning a ‘fundamental redesign’ in Europe as it looks to overcome recent struggles. The carmaker has seen sales drop this year, although the introduction on new versions of its Fiesta and Focus can be blamed in part for this. Nevertheless, the business is perceived to be lagging behind its rivals when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) technology.
‘Having a dedicated electrified vehicle leader in Europe is critical as we redesign our business for the future and we welcome Steve back to the team,’ said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. ‘As the electrified vehicle market accelerates, Steve will work closely with our global Team Edison to deliver a winning vehicle portfolio at greater scale and specific for our European customers.’
Globally, Ford is investing $11 billion (€9.6 billion) in electrified vehicles by 2022, including plug-in hybrids and full battery electric vehicles (EVs). In Europe, production starts shortly on the Mondeo Hybrid Wagon, which will complement the existing Mondeo Hybrid four-door. In 2019, Ford of Europe will start to introduce 48 Volt mild hybrid vehicles, plus the production version of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom. In 2020, Ford will introduce a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles, plus two other electrified vehicles.
Effective immediately, Hood will report to Armstrong and Ted Cannis, global director, Electrified Vehicles. He will lead an integrated and cross-functional electrified vehicle team that will continue to be built over the weeks ahead.
Previously, Hood served as vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Changan Ford, since June 2017.
Since joining Ford in 1985, he has worked in a variety of roles, including vice president, Sales, Ford Asia Pacific, from September 2016 to June 2017, and chairman and CEO of Ford of Britain’s wholly owned dealer group, TrustFord, from 2015 to 2017.
Hood served in Ford of Europe from 2011 to 2014, as director of Retail Strategy and later as director of Sales Operations, responsible for developing dealer network strategies in Europe and developing the retail experience for Ford customers.
Ford’s head of German operations, Gunnar Herrmann, suggested in June that the company must accelerate its development of electric vehicles, with even the current Fiesta EcoBoost model falling foul of Europe’s tightening CO2 emission targets.
There is also speculation that Ford is in discussions with Volkswagen (VW) to share the German company’s MEB electric vehicle platform, which would help cover some of the development costs associated with the introduction of EVs.