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DEARBORN - The Ford Chinese Association (FCA) celebrated the Year of the Dragon on Jan. 23. This annual event was held at the Mezzanine Conference Center of Ford World Headquarters. The sold-out event had more than 280 guests in attendance, including several Ford executives, Chairman Emeritus of the Center of Automotive Research David Cole, Deloitte Senior Advisor for China and Chairman China Research and Insight Center Ken DeWoskin.
The event began with a performance by a group of young musicians from the Little Stars Foundation. Following their performance and the recognition of distinguished guests, FCA President Raymond Xu welcomed the audience.
In his remarks, he highlighted the many FCA accomplishments in 2011 and outlined FCA 2012 objectives: Go Further to promote FCA value proposition on corporate business support and member development, strengthen FCA circles to motivate and support members in professional growth and establish global FCA network to rally around the Company’s global strategy.
Joe Hinrichs, president, Asia Pacific and Africa, was the keynote speaker and first addressed the crowd in
Mandarin Chinese. He provided an update on recent activity in the APA region and also showed a video clip of the 2012 Ford China New Year Banquet in Shanghai to give the audience a sense of life within Ford China.
Hinrichs explained that Ford China is gaining market share despite a limited product lineup and he anticipates great strides in Ford China’s progress as new vehicles are introduced over the next few years. He also discussed how Ford APA will “Go Further” in 2012, setting a new standard both for the APA region and for Ford China.
The event dinner included a variety of Chinese dishes provided by Hong Hua Fine Chinese Dining and guests were shown several videos that showcased the 2011 FCA New Year’s celebration and 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. The guests also enjoyed a cello performance by University of Michigan senior Courtney Lin Kaita, an accomplished solo performer.
DeWoskin was the external keynote speaker. He traveled from his residence in Beijing on the morning of the event specifically to present at the celebration. He brought a unique scholarly perspective to the evening and enlightened the audience with data on the China economy.
His perspective on economic growth in China was cautious as economic and political uncertainty in China loom. He also shared his thoughts on the future of the auto industry in China, stating that the growth in the industry future is difficult to predict, but changing consumer expectations, clean air initiatives and government policy will impact the industry.
The evening continued with the recognition of outstanding performance by individual FCA members. Ping Huang, director, APA HR, was awarded the 2012 FCA Friend of the Year. Qun Sun was awarded the Volunteer of the Year for her work on the FCA website and FCA quarterly newsletters. Nancy Guo was awarded the FCA board member of
the year for exceptional leadership in organizing FCA activities in 2011. Brian Gao and Tiffany Wang retired from the FCA Board in 2011 and were recognized for their service. Dr. Jay Zhou, Dr. James Yi, Dr. Tau Tyan, and Dr. DeQuan Yu, among others, were recognized for various technical achievements. Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer and vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering and FCA Executive Champion, and Steve Dulieu, FCA advisor and director, Human Resources, Product Development, were pleased to present the awards.
Two business groups also were recognized for their superb contribution to Ford APA business growth: Escape/Kuga China program team and IT Vehicle Build Plant Floor team.
The Escape/Kuga China grogram team made extra efforts to improve the design, quality, profits and timing to accelerate the vehicle’s entry into China. The IT Vehicle Build Plant Floor team worked closely with Ford Manufacturing to provide everything IT needed to enable new plant operations in China, India and Thailand. All in attendance applauded the contribution of these two teams.
The event concluded with a raffle drawing and two final performances, a vocal solo by Cynthia Zhang, Miss Chinese New York 2010, and an artistic solo dance entitled Making Window Flowers by Yan Jin.
“The 2012 FCA Chinese New Year Celebration was truly a successful event. It is an excellent platform to promote Chinese culture and business as well as showcase Chinese employees’ contribution to the company,” said Raymond Xu, president, FCA. “As we fulfill our Go Further global brand promise, FCA wishes a prosperous and successful Year of the Dragon to the company, the FCA members and the community."