Derrick Kuzak to become global Car Czar for Ford

By now we're all aware what a good Car Czar can do for an automaker. Bob Lutz is often referred to as the Car Czar at General Motors who banned body cladding on Pontiacs, brought over the Aussie-sourced GTO (that really opened the door for the upcoming Chevy Camaro revival) and pushed Cadillac further upmarket where it belongs. Last year Lutz officially became GM's global product Czar, no doubt on account of Saturn's transformation into an imported brand with the addition of rebadged versions of the Opel Antara, Astra and eventually the next generation Vectra sedan.

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford is also keen on integrating its global units and that CEO Alan Mulally will appoint current Group VP of Product Development Derrick Kuzak as the company's new Global Product Development Czar. Ford knows the path to efficiencies lies in coordinating and sharing product on a global level, but up to this point could not reorganize its structure fast enough to make that happen. Kuzak's job will be to oversee the company's product programs on a worldwide level, hopefully ensuring that we don't end up with another "My Focus is better than yours" situation in the future. Mullaly will also likely appoint a global Manufacturing Czar to also integrate the production side of things on a global scale.

We heard Kuzak speak this week at Ford's Showroom of the Future event, and, while we don't know the guy personally, hear that he's not only an accomplished executive but also a respected engineer. Engineering Ford's vast product development programs around the world into a well oiled and single focused machine is a job we don't envy, but we hope Kuzak's up to the task.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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