After three years at the helm of Silverton-based Ford Motor Company of SA, Deborah Coleman will be replaced by the Blue Oval’s North American product strategy director, Robert Graziano.

After three years at the helm of Silverton-based Ford Motor Company of SA (FMCSA), Deborah Coleman will be replaced by the Blue Oval’s North American product strategy and planning director, Robert Graziano, on December 1.


Graziano, who joined Ford in 1982 after graduating from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, has been appointed chief executive officer and group managing director of FMCSA. Coleman will be returning to the US to take up a new assignment, still to be announced, the company said.


Graziano held a number of sales positions for Ford Division in the Midwest before joining the Controller's office in Dearborn, Michigan. He then moved to Lincoln Mercury Division to launch the Villager minivan before becoming general zone manager for Lincoln Mercury in 1992.


He was then appointed brand development manager for the Lincoln LS, and in 1998, was named director of strategic marketing at Ford’s South American operations in Brazil. He returned to the US in 2000 and was named director of product marketing for Ford in 2002 and appointed to his most recent position in May last year.


One of the highlights of Coleman’s tenure as the head of FMCSA, was that the firm’s retail sales volume grew by 19 per cent for the period January to October 2004 compared with the same period a year before, the company said.


Recently, FMCSA announced it had been chosen by FMC as the manufacturing source for the new Ford Focus that will be exported to Australia and New Zealand.