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Credit Suisse has proposed a novel idea for the European car industry, one whose title we are well familiar with: Car Czar. What would make this position far more radical than that formerly held by our own Steven Rattner is that the European car czar would be tasked with managing a reorganization of the entire industry across the continent, not just in one country. It cites Lewis Booth, retired Ford of Europe CEO and global COO, as the man for the job.

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Ford Motor Co. today made several big-name executive and boardroom announcements, including the appointment of a former Republican presidential candidate, but none changed the almost certain succession of CEO and President Alan Mulally.

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How do you replace the man credited by Time Magazine with managing "the biggest business turnaround of the Great Recession?" That's a very good question, and one that the Ford board of directors is grappling with as company CEO Alan Mulally edges closer to retirement age.

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First the Panther platform and now E-Series vans? That might be the case, according to a presentation shown to investors at a Ford press event held alongside the Frankfurt Motor Show. The discussion centered on how Ford is reducing costs by producing global vehicles on singular platforms. This includes its commercial van lineup, and it sounds like the entire bulk of that business will soon be shouldered by the Ford Transit.

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Who Could Possibly Replace Ford's Golden CEO?

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When Alan Mulally arrived at Ford Motor Company three years ago, the Blue Oval was in bad shape. New product wasn't exactly pouring in and the company's cash hoard was steadily shrinking. And word on the street is that the corporate culture at Ford was in as much trouble as the product lineup, making change difficult. Now in 2009, it appears Mulally has done the near impossible, turning around Ford's product lineup while supposedly positively altering FoMoCo's corporate culture.

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2010 Ford Fiesta – Click above for high-res image gallery

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On the surface, at least, news that a company lost $1.4 billion wouldn't normally be greeted as good news by Wall Street. However, the Ford Motor company's just-published quarterly earning reports have done just that, with the stock trading 15% ahead of yesterday and the entire Dow Jones stock market perking up at the news.

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Ford Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair has decided to hang up his spreadsheets after an illustrious career at the Blue Oval. Leclair worked at Ford for 32 years and has held the top financial post there since 2003. Succeeding Leclair will be Ford of Europe President Lewis Booth. Booth has helped lead Ford's positive transformation in Europe and grow Mazda's success around the world, which are probably Ford's two largest successes of the past decade. Excruciatingly tough times in North America

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Joe Laymon isn't on the short list of successors for Ford CEO Alan Mulally, and it's unlikely you've ever heard of him, but if you want to get to the top at the Blue Oval, this is the guy you stop by Starbucks for on the way to work. Laymon is in charge of keeping a list of internal candidates ready in the event Mulally retires (or quits, is fired or for some other reason exits his position), which could come as soon as 2011 when he turns 65.

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Lewis Booth, Executive Vice President of Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, gave a speech at the New Powertrain Technologies Conference in Amsterdam on March 28th covering many aspects of carbon emissions, global warming, environmental policy and the automotive industry's part to play in all of it. Booth made the point that the automotive industry accounts for around ten percent of carbon emissions but receives more media attention than this fraction would seem to justify. In the futur

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Ford of Europe chairman Lewis Booth confirmed today that the next-generation Ford Fiesta for the European market will be brought to us folks in small car-starved North America. In truth, we're not actually starved for small cars in North America, we're just starved for good small cars like the Ford Fiesta and other European B-class models. The current model is well received in its native market, while the next generation model will be based off of the same platform used by the new Mazda2 that's

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Not long after we told you about the likely promotion of Derrick Kuzak to the role of global Car Czar, President and CEO of Ford Alan Mulally officially announced his corporate realignment plan. At the top of the pyramid is, of course, Mulally himself. Reporting to him are the leaders of Ford's three largest units: Mark Fields, Ford of the Americas; Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe and the Premier Auto Group (PAG); and John Parker, Ford of Asia Pacific, Africa and Mazda. Supporting this team will be

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Although Ford has recently confirmed that Aston Martin is up for sale, they made a point of saying today that the rest of its premium brands, are not. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo are not part of the fire sale at Ford just yet. With the new, almost-as-sexy-as-an-Aston XK coupes and convertibles starting to find their way into dealerships, Jaguar in particular is looking good for the time being, despite being one of the biggest financial thorns in Ford's side.

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If Lewis Booth, Ford's chief in Europe and head of its Premier Automotive Group, is right, then TerraPass and other carbon offset programs are way ahead of the curve. Booth, speaking at the British motor show, said that in the next 10 to 15 years consumers will track their carbon footprint as well as they watch their bank statements today. Knowing this number means people will make lifestyle changes, Booth said.

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Besides new concept and production car introductions, there's always plenty of news at major shows, and Geneva isn't turning out to be any differently.

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