Bill Ford, Kumar Galhotra, Hau Thai-Tang and former Ford Manufacturing Executive Bruce Hettle have been named 2018 Automotive News All Stars.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford was recognized by Automotive News as an All Star Innovator, citing his work to “position his family company to succeed in an uncertain future.”
“Ford Motor Company bought the long-blighted Michigan Central Station and plans to renovate it into a hub of autonomous and electric vehicle development. The former train depot will be the centerpiece of a sprawling urban campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood that the automaker hopes to use to attract talent,” said Automotive News. “While Silicon Valley tech companies offer workers new-age office space, Ford’s innovative approach aims to lure software engineers and other top talent with a one-of-a-kind, towering beacon of advanced technology.”
Kumar Galhotra, group vice president and president, Ford North America, was recognized as an All Star Brand Executive for his efforts to “revive” Lincoln during his nearly four years leading the luxury brand.
“Under Galhotra, Lincoln overhauled its product lineup, introduced a number of unique customer experiences and coalesced under the mantra of ‘quiet luxury.’ It also returned to relevance with a quirky ad campaign starring Matthew McConaughey and finally launched a business in China that officials expect will eventually overtake its U.S. operations in volume,” said Automotive News. “The results? Four consecutive years of global sales gains that have it on track to reach its goal of 300,000 sales by the end of the decade.”
Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing, was recognized as a Supply Chain All Star for his “extraordinary effort” following the Meridian plant fire in May that threatened production of the Ford F-150.
“Thai-Tang received the first call about the incident at a mid-Michigan magnesium parts plant about five hours after the blaze began. Ford workers were on site that same day, even though they couldn’t yet go inside. Ford knew from pervious experiences to bring structural engineers from its construction supplier to the site. Their assessment of the plant’s structural integrity persuaded the fire marshal to let Ford inside the building within 24 hours of the fire,” said Automotive News. “Ford recovered tools and other machinery and made contingency plans to build the F-150 parts elsewhere around the world. At one point, it used an Antonov An-124 Russian plane to move a die to a plant in the United Kingdom. F-150 production was down for a little more than a week and cost the company $591 million, but it could have been much worse.”
Former Ford Vice President of Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Bruce Hettle was recognized as a Manufacturing All Star.
“Hettle oversaw the global operations of 67 assembly, stamping and powertrain plants. He also was responsible for Ford’s worldwide engineering support for stamping, vehicle and powertrain manufacturing, as well as material planning and logistics, the Ford production system, the manufacturing business office and labor affairs,” said Automotive News. “He was instrumental in Ford transitioning its truck plants to build the industry’s first aluminum-bodied, full-size pickup. Despite significant plant downtime, Ford didn’t miss a beat, and the F-Series is on track to be the nation’s best-selling truck for the 42nd straight year.”
To read more about the 2018 Automotive News All Stars, please click here.