President & CEO, Ford Australia & New Zealand
Graeme Whickman is the President & CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand, a position he has held since 2015. In this role, Graeme is leading the team delivering Ford’s transformation plan to become the world’s most trusted mobility company.
In his previous role as the Vice President for Marketing Sales & Service, Graeme played a key role in delivering the transformation of Ford’s business in the market, including the work to revamp the Dealer experience, resulting in dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction with both sales and service.
Since joining the company in 1997, Graeme has delivered landmark work in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Prior to moving to Australia, he served as Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Sales for Ford of Canada, where he pioneered the company’s global consumer experience initiatives.
Before that, he was the Executive Director of Marketing for Asia Pacific, leading the transformation of the company’s key marketing processes in Asia Pacific. Among other company assignments, he was the Market Director for Ford in New Zealand and worked on customer relationship management for Ford in the U.K.
Prior to joining Ford, Graeme served with Coca Cola in New Zealand and Hertz Car Rental in the U.K. Graeme and Ford made headlines in 2017 by declaring Ford is “no longer purely an automotive company”. Graeme announced to news.com.au that the days of ever-growing car ownership are over, saying “we just can’t keep adding cars to the road”.
The automotive manufacturing giant is investing heavily the entire transportation operating system, looking at solutions to address congestion on roads, new ownership models and cutting back its environmental impact.
“The way we’re headed we just can’t keep adding cars to the roads. We need to live in a productive environment that’s healthy,” he said last year.
Ford is now expanding its focus from solely consumers who want to own a car to those who only need to use one occasionally. “We’re no longer purely an automotive company,” Graeme told news.com.au. “We’re looking to broaden ourselves beyond our core of cars, trucks, SUVs and emerge in the space of mobility.”
According to Graeme, car-sharing schemes will become part of the solution with drivers accessing vehicles only when needed.
Other concepts include a car with its own rechargeable scooter in the boot that would allow commuters in busy CBDs to park further away from the office and scoot the rest of the journey. “They’re just concepts at the moment. Some of them might come to fruition but we have some big challenges around urbanisation so we’re thinking big.”
For Dealers accustomed to selling cars the way they have for decades, Graeme’s words signal change. However, it is inevitable that the way we do business will evolve, and it is vital that Dealers are prepared. What better way than by hearing from the head of one of the world’s leading OEMs?
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