CHUNG-LI, Taiwan — From Cortina to the tantalizing all-new Ford Focus, Samuel Yang, the manager of Body & Exterior Supplier Technical Assistance (STA), China- Ford Asia Pacific, has witnessed the 40-year incredible changes of Ford Lio Ho (FLH), Ford’s local joint venture.
Yang joined the company in 1973, just four months after its founding. Building 15 Ford Cortina’s a day with no more than 25 percent of the parts made locally, Yang cherishes the memory of being a new Supplier Quality Assistance (SOA) technician at FLH.
“It is a company that cares about its employees’ wellbeing, many of my colleagues working at FLH were just like me, who bought a house, a car, got married and started a family after joining the company,” he said. “Now, many second-generation FLH employees are working here too.” Recalled Yang who said he had no idea that he would also become part of one of the greatest growth stories in region.
After the introduction of Q-101 to Q1, Ford’s quality management system has helped the manufacturing processes of suppliers to pick up speed. The FLH-made vehicles now achieve great popularity among local customers. The all-new Focus was recently recognized as “best locally-made mid-sized model” by the 2013 Car of the Year Awards, one of the most prestigious auto awards in Taiwan.
“One of the greatest things about Ford, besides running a successful business in Taiwan, is that the company has helped transform many “Green Hands” local suppliers to achieve standards of excellence which helps them to be internationally competitive. It is a great contribution of Ford to the growth of Taiwan automotive industry, and it’s a wonderful experience for me to be part of it,” said Yang.
In April, Yang was awarded by Dave Schoch, Ford group vice president and president, Asia Pacific, at a town hall meeting held at FLH headquarters.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years already,” he told the audience. “I devoted my youth and career life to this great company, Ford Lio Ho. I experienced many generations of leadership as well as products and I have never changed my opinion about working in a great company.”
After sharing his expertise support from working with more than 10 Ford affiliates around the world, including the U.S., Germany, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa and China, Yang is now back at FLH to focus on the support of STA management in the region. Speaking of the future, he has faith in the company’s success.
“I am confident of the One Ford plan, which works effectively in terms of building great, new products and a strong business in AP,” he added.
Yang (front, left) with colleagues, April,1973.
Yang saw rapid expansion of Ford Lio Ho in his 40-year stint at the company. “The future will be even brighter,” he says.