European Operations Head
General Manager, Ford Model e Europe, Ford
TITLE: General Manager, Ford Model e Europe
COMPANY: Ford Motor
BASED: Cologne, Germany
Martin Sander, a native of Hildesheim, Germany, received a degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig. He started his career at Audi in 1995 as a project manager, including manager for the A8. He became head of marketing communications for Germany in 2002 and in 2004 became head of sales for Northern Europe. Other management posts included head of Audi Canada, head of Audi U.K. and, in 2013, head of sales for the Americas. Sander was senior vice president of sales for Europe at Audi before joining Ford in June 2022.
REASON FOR WINNING
Ford has radically changed its strategy in Europe as it plans to go full-electric with its passenger cars by 2030, turning to a collaboration with the Volkswagen Group for its MEB platform that will underpin several compact EVs, starting with the Explorer; focusing even more on its profitable commercial-van business; and planning a range of full-electric crossovers and SUVs that will follow the Mustang Mach-E midsize crossover launched in 2021. At the same time it is ending production of the long-running Fiesta small car in Cologne.
Sander has been overseeing this transformation, including negotiating changes to Ford’s production footprint that will involve nearly 4,000 job cuts. Sales and product goals include 600,000 EVs annually in Europe by 2026, including five full-electric vans and four full-electric cars by 2024. Future Fords sold in Europe, including a range of vehicles built on the automaker’s second-generation EV platform, will emphasize Ford’s American roots with the spirit of iconic products such as the Bronco, the F-150 and the Mustang, Sander says. “We are the only traditional American brand that is still doing business in Europe at scale,” he adds.