Ford hires former Renault executive to help execute growth plan

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. on Monday announced the hiring of a former Groupe Renault executive to help lead the company's new growth plan.

Effective July 1, Franck Louis-Victor will head up the Blue Oval's New Businesses Platform team.

He'll be responsible for "developing and executing a comprehensive strategic plan that includes the company’s existing and emerging portfolio of capabilities in areas like autonomous vehicles and mobility services, as well as Ford’s incubator, Ford X," the company said in a news release.

Franck Louis-Victor

Louis-Victor, 48, comes to the Dearborn automaker with more than 20 years of experience in data and mobility startups, connected vehicles, and new services, according to the release. Most recently, he oversaw development and implementation of new business models and revenue streams for French automaker Renault.

“We’re accelerating development of disruptive technologies and focusing on being a leader in areas that enhance always-on relationships with customers and give them increasing freedom of movement,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “Franck’s got great experience that will help his team and Ford nurture new ideas through the start-up phase, with the best opportunities launched on their own or integrated into our business units.”

Ford executives last month unveiled a growth plan dubbed Ford+. Under that plan, Ford looks to transition to a business model in which customers continually interact with the company via new features and services enabled by digital connectivity. The plan is focused on three areas: electrification, commercial vehicles and connected services.

The automaker at that time announced a more aggressive electric vehicle agenda, saying it would increase its EV investment to $30 billion through 2025, up from its previous commitment of $22 billion. The company told investors it aims to electrify 40% of its global lineup by 2030.

The company also announced the launch of Ford Pro, a dedicated commercial vehicle business.

And executives emphasized the importance they see in increasing Ford's digital engagement with customers. The automaker projects that new connected services could be worth more than $20 billion in revenue.

Louis-Victor previously served as alliance global director for connected vehicles cloud and services for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. He spent several years in mobility and automotive startups after starting his career working in information technology in France in 1998.

Louis-Victor has a master's degree in physics from the University of Bordeaux in France and a bachelor's degree in automotive design from the Franco Sbarro School of Automotive Design in Switzerland.

Scott Griffith, the CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Businesses, who has been serving as the interim leader of the New Businesses team, will report to Louis-Victor.

Louis-Victor and his team "will pinpoint areas where Ford can get and stay ahead of competitors in creating more rewarding customer experiences," according to the release.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski