DETROIT - At Ford Motor Company the employees and alumni are the wheels behind every cutting-edge innovation and global strategy that keeps the company in motion.
Each month, current executives and thought leaders in the company speak to a former group of these employees who helped ingrain technology leadership as part of Ford’s DNA - the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) club.
This week, David Schoch, president, Asia Pacific, attended the monthly F.R.E.E. meeting for his first time, bringing the group up to speed with Asia Pacific’s business environment and the plan to accelerate growth in the Asia Pacific region.
“In Asia Pacific (AP) we’re leveraging our Ford platforms and sticking to the One Ford plan to deliver profitable growth and build on our global product lineup,” said Schoch. “We expect AP to continue to be a major contributor to the company’s success.”
Ford of China is riding off a recent wave of success and is proving to be a growth market.
In 2013, the company expanded its product lineup and imported vehicle offerings to China, with the introduction of the Ford Focus ST, Ford Fiesta ST, and Ford Explorer. Last year also marked the introduction of the Ford Kuga, Ford EcoSport, and all-new Ford Mondeo.
This regional revamp also includes building onto Ford’s class-leading technology, expanding capacity by adding manufacturing plants, the introduction of the Lincoln brand to China and America’s famed pony, the Ford Mustang.
“We’re growing our research and engineering center which went from 100 employees in the early 2000’s to nearly 1,200 employees to date,” he said.
According to Schoch, adding employees to focus on the research and development of products and innovation is just one of the strategic steps towards profitable growth for the region.
“One of our key strategies is to grow the skill set in our AP plants and expand the company’s presence in the region,” he said. “Soon we’ll have the largest concentration of manufacturing plants in one area other than southeastern Michigan.”
Each month a new guest speaker attends this event. Next meeting Mark LaNeve, COO Global Team Ford, Team Detroit, will be speaking to the group. Click here for more information on FREE and their initiatives.
More than 450 Ford alumni are members of FREE – making it one of the largest and most prestigious retiree organizations in the company. With more than 40 years as an active retiree group, FREE membership is limited to those with supervisory experience at an LL5 (SG11) or above.