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Ford CEO Hackett Emphasizes Importance of German Manufacturing to Brand Future

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Jim Hackett Cologne Germany

Ford’s most popular product in Europe is the Fiesta, and the latest-generation version hitting the market bodes well for the brand’s bottom line in 2017 and beyond. The Fiesta is one of the products designed, engineered, and manufactured by Ford’s team in Cologne, Germany, who were recently paid a visit from the new man in charge, Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

Hackett made his first trip to Europe as CEO this month, visiting the Cologne assembly plant and Aachen Ford Research and Innovation Center. During his trip, he expressed the importance of Germany to Ford’s present and its future.

“Ford’s German operations are crucial to the success of our European and global businesses—both today and tomorrow,” said Hackett. “This is a real hub of our creative talent for our global Focus and Fiesta cars and for future advanced technologies. We employ more people in Germany than anywhere else outside the US. It’s also at the center of our manufacturing strength in Europe, with two industry-leading plants in Cologne and Saarlouis where we will have invested at the end of the day in total $1 billion USD in the production of the Ford Fiesta and the soon-to-come new Ford Focus.”

Hackett’s trip to Europe was proceeded by his presentation for investors on Wall Street, where he laid out his roadmap for Ford to improve its “operational fitness.” This includes increased investments in electrification and autonomous vehicle technologies as well as moving money away from less successful business sectors.

“All of our future vehicles will be ‘smart and connected,’ and we’re rapidly accelerating the development of these vehicles. I’m counting on the great technological and engineering skills we have in our German team to help move the Ford global business forward.”