BRUSSELS - Ford will combine its sales operations in the Nordic countries as a first step toward the possible creation of a Europe-wide marketing organization.
Ford's independent sales companies in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark will work together in a new Nordic region starting 1 April.
'We want to restructure our sales and dealer networks,' said Ingvar Sviggum, executive director of the European sales organization, in an interview early in March.
'So far it's just an internal reorganization,' said Paul de Rooij, managing director of Ford Denmark. 'Later all four might be grouped in one entity. After 1 January, it could be one big European company, not just a Nordic one. The decision hasn't been made.'
Pekka Leander, managing director of Ford Sweden, is also director of the Nordic region.
The top officers in the four countries will work with him in an executive committee 'toward a common vision and strategy across the region,' according to an internal memo written by Ingvar Sviggum.
'The focus is on changing processes, like rationalizing our ad campaigns and some back office things,' said de Rooij. 'We want to have one brand image over the whole Nordic area.'
He said the priority is on rationalizing sales and marketing issues.
The Nordic group doesn't have a headquarters. The executive committee was scheduled to meet for the first time on 28 March in Stockholm.
Ford already has a pan-European accounting system, based in the UK, and a multi-national computer services group, based in Denmark.
William Diem contributed