AFRICA – Ford Motor Company has appointed Neale Hill as president of Ford Motor Company Africa, effective October 1.

His responsibilities have been expanded from the South African operations to include Southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, as well as North Africa, which has its regional headquarters based in Morocco, and continues to be led by MD Achraf El Boustani.

Hill is to lead the company in transforming and modernising Ford’s business across the African continent.

“Globally, Ford is leveraging its resources to best serve our customers and treat them like family,” says Ford International Markets Group (IMG) president Dianne Craig.

“As we work to deliver Ford+, our company strategy, we must continue to capitalise on our strengths, transform our automotive operations and deliver must-have products and services across all of our markets.

“Africa plays an important role in IMG, and the new structure, with Neale Hill leading the Ford business for the African continent, will enhance our capabilities, and allow us to work even closer with our dealer and distributor partners to achieve these objectives.”

Hill has a 30-year career with Ford, and was appointed Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa MD in July 2018.

Prior to this he served as marketing, sales and service director for the local organisation from January 2016, following his return to South Africa where he started his Ford journey in 1991.

Between 2006 and 2015 Hill fulfilled various sales, marketing and senior management roles in Thailand, China, New Zealand and Australia.

“I look forward to the new challenge as we develop our long-term growth strategy for Africa from within the African continent,” says Hill.

“This will include working in partnership with our distributors in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to deliver a more cohesive strategy for the continent as a whole, offering truly competitive products, services and experiences for our customers.

“From a regional perspective, it is crucial that we align our business with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, as this will play an important role in developing a winning strategy for Ford across Africa.”

A key element of Ford’s growth plans for Africa will be based on the Ranger pickup, which is assembled in South Africa for export to more than 100 left- and right-hand-drive markets globally, including markets across Africa.

Ford recently announced the investment of US$1.05 billion (R15.8-billion) in its Pretoria plant and supplier facilities in preparation for the launch of the next-generation Ranger pickup, which will be produced for domestic sales and export markets from next year.