Ford's commercial vehicle business unveils senior leadership lineup

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Pro, the dedicated commercial vehicle business Ford Motor Co. launched earlier this year, on Thursday unveiled the lineup of executives who will be tasked with achieving ambitious revenue goals and creating new data- and technology-driven services for commercial customers.

"We've put together an experienced Ford Pro leadership team that is completely focused on helping commercial and government customers increase uptime and reduce ownership costs," Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis said in a statement. "With customer productivity as our north star, this leadership team and our employees around the world are going to change how business in the commercial vehicle space is done."

The additions to Ford Pro's leadership ranks include:

  • Tim Baughman, general manager for North America. Baughman previously served as Ford's controller for U.S. marketing, sales and service and has more than 25 years of industry experience.
  • Muffi Ghadiali, head of charging for Ford Pro. Ghadiali is CEO of Electriphi, a California-based provider of charging management and fleet monitoring software for electric vehicles that Ford acquired in June. Ghadiali will continue in his role at Electriphi while helping on Ford Pro charging strategy development.
  • Navin Kumar, chief financial officer. Most recently, Kumar spent six years working in Ford's autonomous vehicles division.
  • Tracey Pass, chief human resources officer. Pass previously served as vice president of HR for The Walt Disney Co.
  • Rahul Singh, chief technology officer. Singh most recently was head of software development for Ford's autonomous vehicles division. 
  • Wanda Young, chief marketing officer. Young previously served as chief marketing officer for Samsung Electronics America.
  • And as previously announced, Hans Schep will continue to lead Ford's commercial vehicle business in Europe. 

Ford executives in May laid out a turnaround plan for the company that aims to leverage electrification, commercial vehicles and digital connectivity to establish new, recurring revenue streams.

At that time they also announced the launch of Ford Pro as a standalone business, a move that CEO Jim Farley dubbed "one of the most important strategic initiatives at Ford in many, many years." Ford executives have described commercial customers such as vehicle fleet owners as natural starting adopters of EVs and connected services, given their focus on cost savings, maintenance, uptime and productivity.

Cannis, speaking at a conference hosted Thursday by the investment bank RBC Capital Markets, laid out his vision for Ford Pro, describing it as "a comprehensive set of solutions, vehicles and integrated services around the digital world." 

The business, which projects massive growth growth by mid-decade, is focused on several key areas: the vehicles themselves, including forthcoming electric versions of the Transit cargo van and F-150 pickup truck; EV charging; digital services; repair and parts work; and financing.

"That suite of services and complete end-to-end ecosystem is a one-stop shop that our customers can go to," Cannis said.

He highlighted some of the opportunities the company sees in each of those areas. In vehicle parts and service, for example, the company is investing in mobile units that come on-site to repair vehicles: "These mobile service (units), which will grow to over 1,200 by 2025, are going to be part of our strategy to grow parts revenue by over $750 million."

Meanwhile, Cannis said the company sees the charging portion of the business growing to over $1 billion in revenue by 2030. He also touted the revenue potential from using vehicle data to diagnose problems and share information that makes fleet managers' jobs easier.

"It's vehicles, plus services," he said. "It goes from a point-of-sale transactional event to an always-on suite of services that are continuing over time. Intelligence, charging, repairs, mobile service. And with this, we see massive growth, growing from $27 billion in revenue in 2019 to $45 billion in revenue by 2025."

jgrzelewski@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @JGrzelewski