Andrew Birkic has been appointed as President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand. Birkic, currently Chief Product Marketer – Ranger and Everest and based in Melbourne, will be responsible for Ford’s National Sales Company (NSC) in Australia and New Zealand, including marketing, sales and service, dealer relations, and customer satisfaction.
“Andrew is a highly experienced and engaging leader who brings a wealth of insights into the evolving needs of customers,” said Ovenden. “Andrew’s passion for bringing vehicles to market that truly serve our customers, his breadth of understanding of the local market, and his global expertise will serve as a strong foundation for the continued progress of the business. I am delighted to welcome Andrew into this role.”
A Ford veteran of 26 years, Andrew Birkic previously spent three years in Detroit as Global Advanced Consumer Experience Platforms Manager, and two and a half years before that in Shanghai as Director, Dealer Development and Consumer Experience for Ford Asia Pacific. Ford says both roles saw him working with dealers and company teams in each country to develop tools and strategies that would better serve their customers. Before this, Birkic held a variety of leadership positions across marketing, sales and the customer service division at Ford Australia, where he began his career in 1994.
Birkic’s appointment comes as Ford Australia and New Zealand prepares to launch the all-new Puma and Escape SUVs, including the brand’s first electrified vehicle in the region, the Escape Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV).
“I am thrilled to be re-joining the fantastic team in Australia and New Zealand,” said Birkic. “I know how passionate and accomplished the team is, having spent the past two years working with the Ranger and Everest development team to grow the brands across more than 180 markets. I look forward to working closely with our team and dealers to serve our customers.”
Birkic succeeds Kay Hart, who has been appointed to the global role of Enterprise Product Line Manager, Van and Bus. She will be responsible for the van and bus product lines in addition to carrying forward Ford’s commercial vehicle alliance with the Volkswagen Group. Hart has also been appointed a member of the Ford Otosan Board of Directors and will be based out of Dunton in the UK.
“Kay’s contribution to our business in Australia and New Zealand over the past two years has been outstanding, from delivering Ranger’s overall 4×4 leadership in Australia to further strengthening our focus on customer satisfaction,” said Ovenden. “We congratulate Kay as she transitions to her new global role.”