Ford of Germany has promoted Susanne Wegerhoff to become its
director of public affairs, reporting to the company’s chairman, William
She moves from her UK- based job as director of corporate communications
for Ford Europe. This job involved co-ordinating the communication
activities of each of the European countries that Ford is active in.
Although she is moving to a country-specific PR role, her new job will
involve far more strategic input.
Wegerhoff’s move puts her in charge of communications strategy,
including government affairs, for Ford’s largest European market. Her
job is on an equal ranking with Mike Kellahan, director of public
affairs for Ford Great Britain.
Both report to John Southgate, vice-president, public affairs, Ford of
Europe, as well as their country chief executives.
Ford has embarked on heavy cost cutting in the past year in Germany to
bring the firm back into profits. Despite Ford’s 11.3 per cent share of
the German market demand is waning, with the company selling 30,000
fewer cars in the first half of this year than in 1996.
Wegerhoff’s predecessor, Rainer Nistl, has been poached by fellow car
manufacturer Audi to become its head of corporate affairs.
Nistl joined Audi earlier this month. The German car firm had been
without a head of corporate affairs since parting company with Norbert
Essing at the beginning of September.
Nistl will report in to Audi’s owner Volkswagen. Before joining Ford
Germany, he was a journalist on German business magazine Suddeutsche