Ford Australia and New Zealand has appointed Andrew Birkic as its new President and CEO after predecessor Kay Hart scored an opportunity abroad.
Birkic steps up from a Chief Product Marketer position, having played an integral role in the global success of the Australian-developed Ford Ranger and Everest models.
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“Andrew is a highly experienced and engaging leader who brings a wealth of insights into the evolving needs of customers,” said Mark Ovenden, Ford International Markets Group President.
“Andrew’s passion for bringing vehicles to market that truly serve our customers, his breadth of understanding of the local market, and his global expertise will serve as a strong foundation for the continued progress of the business.
“I am delighted to welcome Andrew into this role.”
Birkic had previously spent three years in Detroit – Ford’s major American headquarters – as Global Advanced Consumer Experience Platforms Manager, plus two and a half years in Shanghai as part of the Ford Asia Pacific division.
“I am thrilled to be rejoining the fantastic team in Australia and New Zealand,” said Birkic.
“I know how passionate and accomplished the team is, having spent the past two years working with the Ranger and Everest development team to grow the brands across more than 180 markets.
“I look forward to working closely with our team and dealers to serve our customers.”
Hart meanwhile has been appointed to the global role of Enterprise Product Line Manager, Van and Bus.
She had been in the top job for the Australia-New Zealand region since July 2018, and oversaw the introduction of the Ford Mustang into Supercars.
Hart will also take on a position on the Ford Otosan Board of Directors, and will be based out of Dunton in the UK.
“Kay’s contribution to our business in Australia and New Zealand over the past two years has been outstanding, from delivering Ranger’s overall 4x4 leadership in Australia, to further strengthening our focus on customer satisfaction,” said Ovenden.
“We congratulate Kay as she transitions to her new global role.”
Hart added: “I’ve loved my time in Australia and New Zealand.
“I have every confidence that our Ford team – both employees and dealers – will continue to strive to create an even better experience for our customers and introduce great vehicles to this rapidly evolving market.
“I am proud of our commitment to Australia, and the work of our 2,500-strong team who design and engineer world-class vehicles like the Ranger and Everest and look forward to following their progress in my new role.”
Ford represents a third of the 2020 Supercars grid, with DJR Team Penske, Tickford Racing and Kelly Racing all fielding Mustangs.
Those eight Mustangs will next be in action at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown this weekend, with the event to be broadcast live on 10 and Fox Sports and streamed on Kayo.
Fox Sports 506 will broadcast every session ad-free from 11:15am-5:15pm on Saturday and 11:15am-4:55pm AEST on Sunday.
Network 10’s broadcast will run from midday to 5pm AEST on both Saturday and Sunday.