The Detroit News reports today that Ford is planning a consolidation of its North American product development operations. The company will reorganize its engineering operations from four "clusters" - large cars, small cars, trucks and SUVs - into two product devlopment groups - body-on-frame and unibody vehicles.

The body-on-frame group will handle trucks and traditional SUVs, and the remaining body-on-frame sedans, such as the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car. Everything else, including crossovers, will be handled by the unibody group.

Both groups will report to Derrick Kuzak (pictured), who the company announced today as the new group vice president of product development for Ford Americas, reporting to Anne Stevens. The objective of the reorganization is to increase efficiency and to speed up product development. Job cuts are also expected.



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