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Ford poaches Key Safety CEO to head its China operations

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Ford poaches Key Safety CEO to head its China operations

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By Brenda Goh SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co <F.N> said the new head of its China operations will be Jason Luo, the CEO of auto parts maker Key Safety Systems with wide experience in M&A – an appointment that comes as Ford embarks on range of initiatives in the world’s biggest car market. The U.S. automaker announced last week it is looking at setting up a venture with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co <000980.SZ> to build electric passenger vehicles in China under a new brand, a response to Beijing’s plans to set ambitious quotas for electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Its Lincoln luxury unit also recently said it would start producing luxury SUVs in the country by 2019, while Ford is also moving some production of its Focus small car to China. Luo has spent the last decade at the helm of the Michigan-based supplier, overseeing its $920 million sale to China’s Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp <600699.SS> and most recently the $1.6 billion purchase of the healthier assets of bankrupt Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. Born in China and fluent in Mandarin, he achieved significant revenue growth in China for Key Safety Systems, Ford said in a statement. Luo has a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology, China and master degrees from U.S. universities. The appointment will be effective Sept. 1.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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