Jacques Nasser, President and CEO, Ford Motor Co. (starting 1 January)
When Ford 2000 was announced, Ford of Europe was eliminated. Now Ford of Europe is back. What went wrong?
Nothing went wrong, it was all in our plan. When you decide to totally redesign an existing organization, first you have to dismantle it. This is what we did. We had to kill the old bureaucracy, the old way of doing things, or the new organization would not have been able to operate properly. The 'new' Ford of Europe is in fact completely different from the 'old' one.
What are the main differences?
Europe used to develop its own models on its own platforms. Now that is finished. The Vehicle Centers run the new products for the entire world based on global platforms. The heart of the new Ford of Europe is coordinating all those basic functions we have - and which we will maintain - in all our European subsidiaries: sales, marketing, logistics, advertising and relations with local authorities.
So today's Ford of Europe is much less powerful than in the past?
Absolutely. When I was guiding Ford of Europe, I could have been a dictator and Detroit could not have done much against me.
But now you are the dictator in Detroit?
Yes, but it is much better to have a single, strong dictator in the center than many small dictators around the world, all doing business as they like independently.