RAYONG, Thailand – A surprise appearance by Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally at a gala dinner capped a historic meeting of Ford dealer principals from across Southeast Asia and Japan who were brought to Thailand this week to share details and generate excitement around the company's ASEAN Better Plan.
Joe Hinrichs, president, Asia Pacific and Africa, was also on hand to further underscore to dealers the importance of the ASEAN Better Plan that will support that accelerated growth plan of the region.
The 120 Ford dealer principals in attendance relished in the excitement of having Ford's global boss on hand to reinforce the importance of the ASEAN region to the company's aggressive, overall growth plans for the Asia Pacific and Africa region.
Mulally spoke about the enormous opportunities for Ford in ASEAN. He then had the honor of unveiling the All-New Ford Focus, giving the dealers their first up-close and personal look at the first One Ford global vehicle that Ford's new state-of-the-art and highly-flexible Ford Thailand Manufacturing facility will produce.
Earlier in the day, the dealers received a guided tour of the new $450 million Ford plant that is scheduled to go online next year, and will serve as the production and export hub that will support the ASEAN Better Plan.
Peter Fleet, president of Ford ASEAN, told dealers at the 'ASEAN Better Plan Dealer Meeting' that the company's plan to launch eight all new One Ford global vehicles in ASEAN within the next five years was the basis for continuing the company's product-led transformation in the region.
Fleet reminded dealers that before the All-New Ford Fiesta was introduced last year, Ford was competing in just one quarter of the available marketplace.
"Once we have launched all of our eight new One Ford products by 2016, we will have a comprehensive product line-up that will compete in three quarters of the total revenue pools – a 200 percent increase in our market coverage versus last year," he said.
"So our market coverage goes up by three times. The industry goes up as the economy grows. And our share of the existing revenue pools that we penetrate today, Pick-Ups and SUVs, goes up too as we replace existing entries with new products."
Gary Johnson, vice president, Manufacturing, Asia Pacific and Africa, said that under the ASEAN Better Plan, Thailand will be one of Ford's three principal production hubs in APA, along with China and India.
"It's a story about quality, where our 'Better Plan' is taking manufacturing in this region to ultimately become the best in the Ford world, and better than that, the best in the world," he said.
Chantel Lenard, vice president, Marketing, APA, said the increasing number of new vehicles in showrooms across ASEAN presents Ford with a great opportunity to reframe the Ford brand so that it becomes the most desirable destination for consumers.
"Our challenge together, is to deliver vehicles and experiences that build an emotional connection with consumers, and gain their trust in our brand. As they consider where to spend their precious dollars on a new car – whether it’s their first or 15th time," she said.
|Peter Fleet addresses the 120 ASEAN and Japan dealer principals to outline the ASEAN Better Plan that will drive the company’s growth in the region.
||Mulally greets dealers upon arrival as the surprise guest during the ASEAN Better Plan gala dinner.|
|Mulally speaking to Ford dealers before unveiling the All New Ford Focus.
||The All New Ford Focus, which will be built at the new $450 million state-of-the-art Ford Thailand Manufacturing facility starting next year.|
|Mulally greets, Somsak Phonpisit, dealer principal of American Motors in Chiang Mai, Thailand.