“The management changes make the best use of the individual talent available to us,” says Ford. “Allan Gilmour served us during hard times and has the critical knowledge to help us implement our revitalisation plan.”
Analysts believe the move will give Ford some stability after the removal of Jac Nasser and Wolfgang Reitzle's recent departure. The company posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss of £553m from Jan-March, although its European operations are now in profit.
Martin Leach, responsible for launching a new product offensive, has been promoted to Ford of Europe president and chief operating officer. David Thursfield becomes group vice-president of international operations and global purchasing from August but retains his role as Ford Europe chairman and chief executive.
Volvo design chief Peter Horbury is understood to have turned down the chance to replace Wayne Cherry at General Motors as its worldwide design chief. Instead, he is expected to accept the position as head of design for Ford's Premier Automotive Group reporting to Ford vice president of design J Mays. Meanwhile Jaguar has mothballed the Boxter rival F-type sports car to focus on executive models.