Ford has announced that Australian Trevor Worthington has been promoted to vice-president, global product development and vehicle programs at Ford, responsible for co-ordinating the Blue Oval brand’s product development resources and bringing new products to market.
Previously serving as vice-president, product development for Asia Pacific, 55-year-old Mr Worthington will also be responsible for driving competitive material costs and engineering expenses throughout the development cycle.
Mr Worthington’s previous role will be filled by fellow Australian Graham Pearson, who previously served as vehicle line director, cars and SUVs for Ford Asia Pacific.
Hailing from Benalla in regional Victoria, Mr Worthington joined Ford in 1985 and has held a number of positions around product development and strategy, overseeing the release of the Figo hatchback for the Indian market and early development of the PX Ranger pick-up, and subsequently the Everest large SUV.
He also led Ford Australia product development at a time when the Falcon and Territory were in production at Ford’s Australian manufacturing facility.
In his time as vice-president, product development for Asia Pacific Mr Worthington helped ensure the release of a number of critical new models to the Chinese market including the Territory medium SUV, Focus hatch and Escort sedan.
Another major milestone in China was Mr Worthington’s oversight of a RMB1.3 billion ($A261.4 million) investment in the Ford Research and Engineering Centre in Nanjing.
In his new role, Mr Worthington will report directly to executive vice-president, product development and purchasing Hau Thai-Tang, who said: “With Trevor’s broad experience across some of the world’s fastest-growing markets, he will help us meet the needs of our diverse customer base by bringing together the best of Ford’s product development capabilities.
“This will enable us to bring exciting new vehicles to market faster and more efficiently.”
Mr Pearson, 52, has had a 31-year career with Ford, starting in body electronics engineering at the company’s facility in Geelong. In 1991 he moved to Michigan as a supervisor in vehicle safety development, and has since worked in a wide range of markets including Australia, China, India, and Thailand.
He served as chief program engineer for the Australian-built Territory, and has held managerial positions at Ford Australia for testing, planning and body engineering.
In 2005 he moved to China – where he is still based – as Ford Asia Pacific director of engineering, leading the development of the Focus and Kuga for the Chinese markets.
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