Ford hires exec who helped build up Buick in China

Joseph Liu has been named Ford’s vice president of marketing and sales in China.

August 11, 2015 – 6:27 am ET

BEIJING (Reuters) — A former General Motors sales and marketing executive, Joseph Liu, has joined Ford Motor Co.’s China unit — a move ex-colleagues of the auto industry veteran describe as a big gain for Ford.

Liu was instrumental in helping make GM’s Buick and other brands a leading passenger car force in China, GM has said in the past. The 57-year-old is one of the most experienced and insightful executives in the world’s largest car market, said former colleagues, declining to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media on the matter.

Ford said in an internal announcement that Liu, who retired in 2014 as executive vice president of GM’s main joint venture in China, has joined its China operations as vice president of marketing and sales.

The appointment, effective Aug. 1, comes as Ford’s China sales have weakened on a market slump, a slower economy and stock market gyrations. It sales fell 6 percent in July from a year earlier to 77,100 vehicles and are down 0.7 percent for the year to date.

Before joining Shanghai GM, Liu worked for GM’s Asia Pacific unit with a focus on China and served as managing director and president of GM Taiwan.

Liu also earlier spent 15 years with Ford Lio Ho Motors in Taiwan, where he held various senior positions in planning, marketing, sales and after-sales.

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