MUNICH -- German transmission maker Getrag GmbH has named longtime Ford Motor Co. executive Mike McMillan its new chief financial officer.
The British national replaces Hans-Juergen Foerster, who left the company at the end of February.
McMillan, 44, spent 17 years with Ford, holding posts in the United States, the UK and Germany. He currently is CFO of the Getrag Ford Transmissions GmbH joint venture in Cologne.
McMillan, who starts his new role May 1, will leave that job, which he has held since December 2007, and relocate to Getrag's corporate headquarters in Untergruppenbach, near Stuttgart. His successor at Getrag Ford Transmissions has not been named.
McMillan's financial expertise could come in handy immediately as Reuters, citing multiple sources, reported last week that China's Dongfeng Motor Group is in advanced talks to buy a stake of about 30 percent in Getrag. The stake would be worth less than 500 million euros (about $705 million), one of the sources told Reuters.
U.S. supplier Dana Holding Corp. acquired a 30 percent stake in Getrag in 2000 from Germany's Hagenmeyer family, but sold it back to the family in 2007 after Dana fell into U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Hagenmeyer family, which owns the entire company, tried to sell the 30 percent stake to other strategic partners after Dana's exit, including Canadian supplier Magna International Inc., sources said. The talks with Magna, which took place a few years ago, fell apart due to differences over prices, they said.
Getrag reported sales of 2.6 billion euros last year, up from 2 billion euros in 2009
Ford and Getrag invested 550 million euros to start their transmission joint venture in 2001. In 2010, Getrag Ford Transmissions, which employs 4,480 people and has plants in Germany, France, the UK and Slovakia, reported sales of 1.15 billion euros, up from 930 million euros in 2009. The partners produced 1.70 transmissions last year up from 1.58 million in 2009, according company figures.