Ford Motor Company is to merge the three British brands in its Premier Automotive Group into a single management unit in the US.
Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America, to be formed next month, will combine sales, marketing, communications, franchise development, distribution, parts and customer service for the three marques.
Ford has said there are no plans for the marques to share showrooms in Europe but PAG chairman Wolfgang Reitzle wants dealers to combine 'back office' functions where possible. Announcing the change to the US structure, Ford said another new group would be formed in the US to provide shared services to all the European brands, including Volvo.
These functions will include human resources, finance, information technology and “retail transformation”. Ford has said it would give more details about the new structure in the next few months.
l Ford of Britain has delayed publication of its financial results as the cost of ending car production at Dagenham is assessed. The statement, now expected next month, is likely to reveal record losses which could exceed £500m. The deficit in 1999 was £119m.
More than 2,500 people are likely to be made redundant or given early retirement packages as part of the cost of converting the Fiesta plant into a diesel engine production centre.