Ford Announces Leadership and Organisational Changes in South Africa to Strengthen its Automotive Operations


Ford Motor Company has announced a series of leadership and organisational changes for South Africa, effective from 1 June 2021, which are aimed at accelerating its strategic transformation plan and strengthening its automotive operations.


“Globally, Ford is transforming its business to deliver growth and create value as part of our Ford+ Plan,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa. “Ford+ is our strategic approach to provide customers with enhanced products and services based on ‘always-on’ customer relationships, world-class vehicles – including electric vehicles – and connected services and technologies that build a better world. The changes to our leadership team reflect this new approach to reinvigorate the way we do business, and to prepare the company for a dynamic and exciting future.”

Dhiren Vanmali, currently Executive Director of Government Affairs, takes over the role of Sales Operations Director, Ford Motor Company Southern Africa. Vanmali joined Ford in 2001 and brings a fresh perspective to Ford’s sales organisation. He has held several positions in manufacturing, product development, business strategy, and finance. Vanmali has played a pivotal role in facilitating the recent R15,8-billion investment in South African operations, and also serves as non-executive Director for the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ). He has also been instrumental in the creation of the Gauteng-Eastern Cape Rail and Freight High Capacity Corridor. This wealth of experience will unlock new opportunities for Ford’s dealer network.

Conrad Groenewald has been appointed Marketing Director, having previously headed up the combined Marketing, Sales and Service division. Groenewald joined Ford in 1996, and has held several positions in the company in product engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sales. His focus now shifts exclusively to the marketing role to guide Ford’s future cycle plans, which encompasses the launch of the all-new Ranger pickup in the mid-term and the drive towards expanded connected services in the future.

Esther Buthelezi, currently Ford’s Corporate Transformation Manager for South Africa, has expanded her portfolio to now become Government Affairs and Transformation Director. Buthelezi joined Ford in 2002, and has held several positions in sales planning, dealer development, government fleet sales, and regional sales. She was appointed as Corporate Transformation Manager in 2019 and plays a crucial role in implementing Ford’s transformation strategy. Her initiatives include the upliftment of supplier development, and the implementation of the YES program and general BBBEE score card.

“The changes to the leadership team reflects a wealth of experience and talent in our business, and we are confident that Dhiren, Conrad and Esther, will make a valuable contribution to the future success of Ford South Africa,” Hill concludes. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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