Starting December 1, 2012, Mark Fields will become the new chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co., making him the heir apparent to chief executive Alan Mulally. As the new COO for Ford, one of Field’s top priorities is to build on the global product strategy developed and schemed by Mullaly, who has spent six years to polish the plan.
During a roundtable at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Fields remarked that his priorities are almost exactly identical to the priorities they have been working on, adding that on top of this is delivering the “One Ford” plan, which according to him is a timeless plan. Fields has been leading Ford North America for the last seven years and is considered as Mulally’s successor.
Ford, however, fell short of formally naming Fields as its next chief executive, and has even announced that Mullaly will remain as the carmaker’s top honcho until 2014. Under Mulally’s “One Ford” plan, he was able to drive the carmaking to produce models that can be sold around the world with a few modifications.
The carmaker has estimated that “One Ford” has helped make overall product development two-thirds more efficient between 2006 and 2012.
Fields, on the other hand, pledged to seek new opportunities to deploy the One Ford plan. For instance, Ford's lineup will be nearly 100-percent global models in South America by 2014. In comparison, the South American lineup last year was entirely regional. Fields said that they are just starting to see the full potential of the global scale as well as the operating margin benefits through the One Ford plan. He quipped that Ford is still at the beginning stages of “operating truly as a global company."