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Ford of Europe Names Gunnar Herrmann, Lead Engineer for New Focus and C-MAX, as New Vice President of Quality
COLOGNE, Germany, July 2, 2012 – Ford of Europe has named Gunnar Herrmann, the senior engineer who led the development of the all-new Focus and C-MAX, as vice president of quality.
Herrmann, 52, will be responsible for driving forward all aspects of quality at Ford of Europe, effective September 1. Herrmann also joins Ford of Europe’s management board and Ford of Germany’s supervisory board.
“Ford’s quality has improved significantly in recent years and now the next step is to move from good quality to the clear industry leader,” Herrmann said. “Providing Ford customers with even higher quality vehicles and technologies and a better customer service experience is a great responsibility and a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
Herrmann will report to Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, and Bennie Fowler, Ford Motor Company, group vice president, Quality and New Model Launch. He replaces Kevin O’Neill, who was recently appointed chief operating officer at Ford Getrag, the transmission manufacturing joint venture established by Ford and Getrag.
“Gunnar’s passion for delivering products of the highest quality is well-known, and clearly evident in cars like the C-MAX and Focus,” Odell said. “His experience will help Ford to aggressively pursue our goals in every aspect of vehicle and customer service quality.”
Herrmann was previously vehicle line director, Global C-Segment Vehicles, Ford Product Development, a position he has held since 2002. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing 10 vehicles from the single C-segment platform with global, total annual production exceeding two million units.
Herrmann is most noted for his work on the Ford Focus, and has been a key member of the Focus development team since it was formed prior to the launch of the original Focus in 1998.
Born in Leverkusen, Germany, Herrmann graduated in automotive engineering from the University of Hamburg. He also holds a Master of Science degree in advanced automotive engineering from the University of Loughborough in the UK.
In 1986, Herrmann joined Ford, working first in body engineering at Ford’s Merkenich engineering centre in Germany. After an assignment in the United States, he returned to Germany in 1994 to become the supervisor for the Body Engineering Development for the original Ford Focus, a role he held until early 1997. He subsequently became manager for Quality and In-cycle Action for C-segment vehicle production at Ford’s Saarlouis Plant in Germany.
In 1998, he was given responsibility for production quality in all of Ford’s European manufacturing facilities, before becoming chief engineer for the development of the original Ford C-MAX the following year. From 2001 to 2002, he was chief engineer for the entire Ford C-Car range, and in June 2002 he took up his assignment as vehicle line director, Global C-Segment Vehicles.
Herrmann still lives in his native city of Leverkusen, just across the Rhine River from Ford’s Cologne-Niehl headquarters and manufacturing centre. He is married with two children. Aside from his passion for driving – he owns a Ford Focus RS – Herrmann enjoys skiing, cooking and vintage motorcycles and classic cars.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately 66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.