Ford GB marketing director Tom Pallister has been moved as part of a restructure that signals a substantial rise in the company’s UK marketing budget.
The move comes as Ford management faces increasing pressure in the UK and across Europe. The UK is the most competitive market in Europe and Ford’s market share has fallen 1.5 per cent so far this year to 18.31 per cent, although vehicle sales have fallen by only 2,500.
It is understood Pallister will be moving to head Ford’s customer services division, which handles the after-care side of the business.
Sources say he will be replaced by Andreas Formica, formerly marketing director of the Ford’s Italian arm.
Pallister, a Ford veteran and marketing director for four years (MW May 14 1993), is responsible for Ford’s marketing and 70m ad spend and has in recent months overseen the launch of the Ka and the Puma onto the UK market.
Since last year, the company has adopted a brand management system across Europe, where dedicated teams are employed on particular model ranges. It is designed to produce efficiencies in all areas of manufacturing, marketing and sales.Ford of Europe lost 177m in 1996, is expected to lose 52m this year but is to return profits of 232m in 1998, according to figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
A Ford spokesman refused to confirm or deny the reshuffle.