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Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs

Fording China

In Rutgers Magazine, you read about Mei-Wei Cheng RBS'99, executive chairman of Ford Motor China, and his efforts to deepen the automaker's strategies in the quickly modernizing nation. Here is more about Cheng and Ford Motor China, as provided by Ford's public affairs office.

  • Ford announces Cheng's appointment to executive chairman

  • Cheng's executive bio

  • Ford Motor China Milestones

Ford Announces Key Executive Appointments in Asia Pacific and Africa, Mazda

DEARBORN, Michigan, March 21 — Ford Motor Company announced key executive appointments within the senior leadership team of its Asia Pacific and Africa business unit to support the continued expansion of the company's fast-growing China operations and to deepen its partner relationships and synergies with Mazda. The appointments are effective April 1.

Mei-Wei Cheng has been elected group vice president, Ford Motor Company, and named executive chairman of Ford Motor China. Cheng previously served as chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. He will continue to report to John Parker, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company's Asia Pacific and Africa business region.

"Mei-Wei is an exceptional leader who has been pivotal to the success we're experiencing within our China operations today," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. "He has led the team responsible for growing Ford's brand and product presence in China, making Ford one of the fastest growing automakers in that market during the past few years. I look forward to his continued leadership in this region, which is extremely important to Ford."

In his new role, Cheng will be responsible for Ford Motor China's business strategy, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships and government relations. Since joining Ford in 1998, Cheng has been instrumental in establishing and growing Ford Motor China's joint-venture partnerships with Changan Group and Jiangling Motors Corporation, launching the Ford brand in China, and continuously expanding the infrastructure and operations of Ford Motor China.

"Mei-Wei is vital to our continual drive for further expansion in the China market. Under his leadership, Ford has made a successful and rapid climb into China's top ten auto makers. We're more competitive today, and better positioned for the future, thanks in large part to his strategic direction," John Parker said.

Robert J. Graziano, currently executive vice president for Mazda Motor Corporation, has been appointed president and CEO, Ford Motor China. Philip G. Spender has been elected a Ford Motor Company vice president and executive vice president of Mazda Motor Corporation.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda.

Executive Bio: Mei-Wei Cheng
Group Vice President, Ford Motor Company
Executive Chairman, Ford Motor (China) Ltd.

Mei-Wei Cheng was elected group vice president, Ford Motor Company, and named executive chairman of Ford Motor (China) Ltd., effective April 1, 2008. In his current position, Cheng is responsible for Ford Motor China's business strategy, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships and government relations.

Prior to this position, Cheng was vice president of Ford Motor Company, and chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China, between 1999 and 2008. He led the team to establish Ford's business presence in China and boosted Ford's brand awareness in the market. Under his leadership, Ford has made a successful and rapid climb to become one of China's top auto makers.

Cheng joined Ford in January 1998 from General Electric Corporation, where he was a vice president, and regional executive and president of GE Appliance – Asia in Hong Kong. Prior to this, he was a vice president of General Electric Co. and chairman and CEO of GE (China) Ltd.

Cheng started his career in 1972 with AT&T as a plant engineer with New Jersey Bell. He worked for Pacific Telephone before becoming account executive, commercial sales for AT&T's Western Electric Company in 1982. In 1983, Cheng became managing director of AT&T International (Taiwan). He also served as director of product management, director of international sales operations, vice president of business development, and president of AT&T China. In his role as president, Cheng was instrumental in establishing a major presence for AT&T in China.

Cheng is a member of the Committee of 100, an organization of Chinese-American leaders devoted to encouraging better U.S.-China relations and to promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life. He has been elected to the Board of Governors of American Chambers of Commerce in China several times, and served as vice chairman of AmCham in 1996.

Cheng is also the vice chairman of Jiangling Motor Company, vice chairman of Changan Ford Automobile Corporation Ltd., and a member of the Board of Directors for Ford Lio Ho Motor Company Limited. Cheng was a member of the BT (British Telecom) Asia Pacific Advisory Board and a member of the Cornell Engineering College Advisory Council.

Cheng has received numerous awards from the Chinese Government: Magnolia Silver Award from Shanghai Municipal Government, Chongqing Three Gorges Friendship Award, CIFIT Award for Distinguished Persons from Multinational Companies, and Honorary Council Advisor of the Chongqing Mayor's International Economic Advisory Council.

Cheng has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering/operations research from Cornell University, an MBA from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of Dartmouth's Amos Tuck Executive Program and MIT's Program for Senior Executives.

Cheng is married with two children and enjoys golfing, skiing, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Ford Motor China Milestones

The first Ford Model T was introduced in China.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen wrote to Henry Ford, inviting him to help build an automotive industry in China.

Mr. Deng Xiaoping met with Henry Ford II, chairman of Ford Motor Company, in Beijing.

Ford Motor started the "Visiting Scientist" program for Chinese scientists and engineers.

Ford Motor Company set up a representative office in Shanghai, China.

Ford Motor formed the fist of its five automotive component joint ventures in China. These were later spun-off into Visteon.

Ford Motor Company bought a 20 percent stake in Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd. and began to develop Ford Transit. FMC increased its stake to 30 percent.

Ford Motor (China) Ltd. was established.

The first China-made Ford Transit rolled off the production line.

Ford Motor Company and Changan Automotive Group established Changan Ford Automobile Co. Ltd. Each group retained a 50 percent stake.

The first China-made Ford Fiesta rolled off the production line on January 18.

Ford Maverick was launched in China.

Bill Ford, the chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company, visited China and announced that the company and its Chinese partners would invest US$1 billion to expand production, introduce new models, and broaden sales channels.

Ford Mondeo was launched and recognized with more than 30 awards.

Changan Ford Nanjing Company was established.

Ford Automotive Finance (China) was officially established.

Changan Ford Mazda Engine Co. Ltd. (CFME) held its groundbreaking ceremony.

Ford Focus, the first automobile ever to be honored as the "Car of the Year" in both America and Europe, was launched in China.

Mazda's investment in CAF was approved by the Chinese government and Changan Ford was then renamed Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd.

Five-door Ford Focus was launched in China.

Changan Ford Mazda Nanjing Company and CFME began operations in 2007.

Ford Motor Research & Engineering (Nanjing) Co., Ltd was officially established.

Ford S-MAX and the third-generation Ford Mondeo were launched in China.

Alan Mullaly, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, visited China twice in one year and inaugurated CFMA Nanjing Company.

The all-new generation Transit launched in China.

Robert Graziano was appointed president and CEO of Ford Motor China.

Mei-Wei Cheng was elected group vice president, Ford Motor Company, and appointed executive chairman, Ford Motor China.






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