Automotive News -- November 1, 2012 - 12:04 pm ET
DETROIT -- As of today, Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln luxury brand has a global management team.
Jim Farley, executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, will now add a new job: global leader of Lincoln. Ford announced the change today as part of a shakeup of the company's senior management team.
Reporting to Farley, 50, will be Matt Van Dyke, who will become head of global marketing, sales and service executive for Lincoln. Van Dyke has been director of U.S. marketing communications for the Ford and Lincoln brands.
Replacing Van Dyke in the marketing communications job will be Kevin Koeppen, who has been advertising and media manager for Ford.
Lincoln also said that Andrew Frick will become Lincoln group marketing manager, effective Jan. 1. Frick's current title is general manager of Caribbean and Central America and Asia Pacific, export operations and growth.
The move helps clarify Ford's strategy for Lincoln, which had no clear brand chief until today.
Committed to brand
Ford executives have been eager to stress their commitment to the brand. Last month, Lincoln held an open house at its newly designated design studio to emphasize that its vehicles will not be tarted up versions of Fords. But Lincoln's previous top U.S. marketing executive, C.J. O'Donnell, 50, moved to a new position as head of marketing for Ford's electrified vehicle fleet in September, with no permanent replacement named until today.
Farley had not been the official head of Lincoln until now, but he has been the guiding force behind the brand's reinvention since Ford killed the Mercury brand at the beginning of 2011.
Drawing on his experience developing the Lexus brand during his years at Toyota, Farley has been a prime architect of Lincoln's plan to reinvent itself by offering a new style of customer care based on the service offered at boutique luxury hotels.
On to China
Lincoln is touting the 2013 MKZ sedan as the first vehicle in a new generation of Lincolns designed to lure a new, younger generation of customers.
Ford recently announced it would launch Lincoln in China, the world's largest auto market, in 2014. Lincoln is sold in 22 countries, but the United States accounts for about 90 percent of its annual sales.