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Sat 31 Aug 2013 02:01 PM

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Ford hires new chief to drive MidEast growth

US car maker appoints new Dubai-based president for Middle East and Africa region

Ford hires new chief to drive MidEast growth

US car giant Ford on Saturday announced the appointment of a new president to lead growth in Middle East markets.

Ford Motor Company said Jim Benintende had been hired to fil the newly-created position of president, Ford Middle East and Africa.

Effective September 1, Benintende will lead Ford's regional business unit headquartered in Dubai and will report to Stephen Odell, executive vice president and president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"We're fortunate to have a leader with Jim's track record and global experience to lead Ford in the Middle East and Africa," Odell said.

Benintende, 58, has significant experience in the Middle East and Africa region, most recently as director, Ford Export Operations and Global Growth Initiatives, an organisation that had responsibility for several Middle Eastern and African markets.

He also was previously managing director of Ford Middle East and North Africa.

"I'm delighted to be taking on this new challenge... Our intention is to grow the Ford business while staying true to our principles of being active and supportive members of the community in the Middle East and Africa."

Ford reported a 14 percent in sales growth in the Middle East in the first quarter of 2013, backed by a sharp increase in demand in Iraq.

The US automaker said in May that sales in that country rose by close to 200 percent.

In the GCC, Bahrain saw sales up by 65 percent, followed by 50 percent in Oman and 42 percent in Qatar. Saudi Arabia and the UAE increased sales by 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

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