Source AP ©

Ford Motor Co's manufacturing chief in North America to take over business

Ford Motor Co. has put its North American manufacturing chief in charge of making vehicles across the globe.

Joe Hinrichs, 40, will become group vice president of global manufacturing on Jan. 1, leading the integration of Ford's worldwide manufacturing operations.

The company wants to build vehicles worldwide on the same underpinnings and integrate other manufacturing operations, but has been criticized by auto industry analysts for moving too slowly.

Hinrichs is credited by Chief Executive Alan Mulally with leading the restructuring of Ford's North American factory operations, and he was a key negotiator in Ford's recently completed talks with the United Auto Workers.

"In his new role, Joe will focus on delivering a global manufacturing plan that allows us to improve our efficiency while leveraging our scale worldwide," Mulally said in a statement.