Ford of Europe has hired Martin Sander, longtime senior Audi executive, to be its general manager passenger vehicles, effective June 01. In addition, Sander will be chair of the management board of Ford-Werke GmbH (Ford of Germany), effective June 1.
Sander brings with him some 25 years of experience working for Audi with a number of high-level roles within the premium German automaker. His CV includes spells as president & CEO of Audi Canada; managing director Audi UK; VP sales Americas; and most recently, senior VP sales Europe.
Sander will need to lean on that experience to deliver Ford’s planned output of fully electrified and connected passenger vehicles that will be critical to fleets of all sizes in Europe.
Reporting to Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, Sander will assume the responsibilities previously held by the former GM Roelant de Waard as well as former executive director of business transformation at Ford of Germany, Gunnar Herrmann, both of whom elected to retire at the end of last year.
Commenting on the appointment, president Stuart Rowley said:
“Martin is a highly experienced leader with a wealth of global experience. His drive, leadership and new thinking will speed the transformation of our passenger vehicle business in Europe to provide customers with new connected experiences.”
Sander will be based in Cologne, the home of Ford’s European passenger vehicle business and site of the Cologne Electrification Center, where the first all-electric passenger vehicle will roll off the production lines starting next year. The Center is the recipient of a $1bn regeneration plan to make the Cologne plant ready for zero emission and plug-in capable vehicles.
Ford’s target is for 100% passenger vehicles to be zero-emission capable mid-2026 and fully electric by 2030. In addition, the company’s commercial vehicle range will be 100% zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024; and two-thirds of commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
The first new car coming off the line in 2023 will be the result of the Ford-Volkswagen global alliance; a compact car, it will be based on the VW MEB platform.