Stephen Odell: the man who saved Ford in Europe

No doubt as to the long-term potential of the traditional global Auto giant, says Stephen Odell, Ford retired executive of global sales and marketing chief to do even if it is fashion, so in a world focused increasingly on Autonomous and electric vehicles.

The winner, Odell believes, the company, the attention to the rapidly changing requirements of customers – and numbers, Ford among them. The task will be to make “frenemies” of the emerging connectivity and data, accept from the organization, as a people, and the use of the new Transport and mobility services. Maybe you would expect to spread, a top-notch Ford pensioner, love and optimism as he departs, but Odell is special.

He is the “tough but fair” Romford-born Briton, has led to the downsizing of the European Ford’s business, starting in 2012, closed two UK plants and one in Belgium, and reduces the size of Ford locations in Germany, Russia and Romania, and to drastically reduce the size of your document. It may not have looked like progress at the time, but it is assured, the future of the society in Europe by capacity constraints. Now Ford “and others”, in order to prove their suitability for the beautiful, new world.

Remain flexible

“The realization that we are moving, began to be in an era of accelerated change, clear, 10 or even 15 years ago, when E-cars began to be fashionable,” explains Odell, Ford in 1980. “Everything will be electrified, we were told, by the new experts. The world tends to write from the prospects of companies like ours, with the share prices and investment ratings – in the belief that we are too large and inflexible for operating in the new way. But this is wrong. The global car company very much, make it, and you begin to prove it.”

There are serious hurdles to be overcome, admits Odell, but Ford’s hard-won financial stability is a key factor in the investment in new models and new infrastructure. He says: “Seven or eight years ago there were only a handful of electric models on the market, and the demand of a few percent. Now there are more than 50 offers, and the market is still only 3.5%. The challenge the customer takes with us.” Odell sees a similar model structure on the present Fiesta, Focus, Transit, Mustang, F-150 – believes, however, that the cars themselves will be very different. “How people things that will be of crucial importance to see,” says Odell. “An electrified Mustang can issue either one or the fastest accelerating machine that you’ve ever heard. An electrified F-150 can only center a load hauler, or a mobile business Center on-site with its own power supply and communication. We have an opinion.”

Given that the taming of the manufacturing capacity was such a big part of his past life, Odell impressions of the current world-car potential, are fascinating. Capacity and demand are largely equal in the United States from 17.5 million units market, Europe (if not Ford) still has a car surpluses in China explosive market may well be to reach a point where the capacity begins to outweigh the demand – a situation that may be for the benefit of local decision-makers, because they have advantages in the cost.

Odell is proud of his time at Ford-owned Volvo in which the company was configured for a proper sale to Geely (“you have a very good job with the partitioning, that is, of what was said by the Chairman of Li [Shufu], he would do”) and, Yes, he feels proud of, with a set of Ford of Europe are back on a profitable path, even if it could not have happened without the closures. “I did what was necessary, for Ford,” says Odell.

“Who feels good about such a thing is not tells either the truth or not, a very nice person. I’ll have regrets for the rest of my life, but we made it work. It is ironic to me that GM gets credit for pulling out of Europe-and the sale of PSA to sort out because of it – whereas we criticized for the tough decisions, and remain.”

As Odell brought the Mustang to Europe

Stephen Odell will always remember him as the man who brought Ford’s iconic Mustang to Europe, where it is was some times the region is the best-selling sports car. “While we were up to, the European turn, it became clear that our line-up had some holes,” he says.

“So, we’ve pushed a refresh of the Transit, the work now, and start the EcoSport and the Edge, since there were signs, not then secured, by requiring that the SUV [sales surge] was what happened. We also needed something sexy. The Mustang had to be, who had admirers in the whole world. So we lobby and work very hard, that wasn’t so hard, until she [found the management], it would have to be made in right hand drive. After that, there were some delays. “But the team was stubborn, and I was able to convince them [the chiefs] we would earn enough to pay for all the additional technology. “We have managed to do it, in the first year, this is something I will always look back with pride.”

Read more

Ford Mustang review

Ford Fiesta review

Ford GT review