Ford South Africa has announced the appointment of Conrad Groenewald as its new director of marketing, sales and service. At the start of July 2018, the 43-year-old stepped into the role vacated by Neale Hill, who was named managing director after Casper Kruger left to “take on a new personal endeavour”.
Since January 2018, Groenewald has held the time of general manager of Ford’s newly created “consumer and dealer experience division”, with a focus on “enhancing the sales and service experience” for customers and dealers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
“This is a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to leading Ford’s marketing, sales and service team as we embark on a new phase in Ford’s proud South African history with an exciting new product portfolio, and a stronger focus on customer satisfaction in sales and service,” Groenewald said.
He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Pretoria Technikon, as well as an MBA from the University of Pretoria.
Groenewald joined Ford Motor Company of SA as a graduate trainee in 1996 and has held various positions within the company over a career spanning more than two decades. He started out in product engineering and manufacturing, and subsequently moved into marketing and sales in 2002 first as product manager and then brand manager, before taking over responsibility for Ford Commercial Vehicles between 2003 and 2006.
After a brief stint at an independent motor retail group, he rejoined Ford in April 2008 as the product strategy manager before becoming regional marketing launch manager for commercial vehicles in 2011 in the Asia Pacific region. Three years later he was appointed regional manager for Mpumalanga, Free State, North West and Kwazulu-Natal, a position he held until December 2017.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.