Ford of Britain MD to replace retiring chairman

Ford of Britain have announced that the manufacturing group's current Managing Director, Mark Ovenden, will soon extend his role within the company by also taking on the position of chairman, which will be vacated when current incumbent Joe Greenwell retires in April.

Although Ford car dealers and their customers around the South West and beyond are not expected to be directly affected by the switch within the hierarchy, there can be no doubt that the appointment is a significant one in the history of the organisation, and is a reflection of the confidence that Ovenden inspires amongst his colleagues, having excelled in his role as MD since he first took it on around 18 months ago.

Some of the new duties Ovenden will be turning his hand to, in addition to his current responsibilities, include representing Ford's ambitions to external parties on important issues such as low carbon initiatives, research, development, the advancement of staff skills, and the future of UK car manufacturing.

Describing his new appointment as an 'honour', Ovenden commented that he is looking forward to helping Ford maintain and build upon its 'leading position' in the British domestic and commercial vehicle markets; the chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, Stephen Odell, meanwhile, said that Ovenden is a 'great asset' to the company, and praised his 'considerable international automotive experience', having previously been the MD of Ford's Russian operation.

With new and used Ford cars consistently topping the sales charts here in the UK, Ovenden will have to work hard to make his tenure as chairman as successful as that of his predecessor. Alongside his role with the Michigan-based company, Joe Greenwell also enjoyed the position as president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for two years, and received a CBE for his services to the automotive industry in 2011.

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