A new managing director will soon be leading Ford Philippines' growth for the coming years. Effective July 1, 2019, newly-appointed PK Umashankar will become the new head of Ford in the country.
He is set to relocate to Manila soon and will directly report to Yukontorn 'Vickie' Wisadkosin, president of Ford ASEAN. With it, Umashankar will replace Bertrand Lessard who served as Ford Philippines' managing director for two years. Come July 1, 2019, Lessard will repatriate to his home country of Canada.
In his new role, Umashankar will be responsible for continuining Ford's momentum in the Philippines. He will be sustaining the automaker's nearly fully refreshed vehicle lineup, continue the ongoing expansion of Ford's dealer network in the country, and further enhance the aftersales experience including a more competitive cost of ownership for its customers.
“Uma’s leadership and real hands-on approach, coupled with his extensive experience across the business, will help us continue to grow our business and further strengthen our brand in the Philippines,” said Wisadkosin.
Prior to his new role of leading Ford Philippines, Umashankar has been with the company for nearly 20 years, particularly with Ford India. He first started out in the area of parts distribution from 2000 – 2002. Afterwards, Umashankar served in various roles such as divisions operations manager for North and East India where he led the company's spare parts operations and business development for service operations.
Then from 2005 – 2008, Umashankar led process improvements in customer service which helped drive customer satisfaction. Then for almost four years, he served as general manager for product marketing wherein he helped launch the all-new Figo, the first Ford vehicle built and designed for the Indian market.
Following that position, Umashankar was then promoted to vice president of Customer Service Operations which lasted for four years. From there, he spearheaded a new nationwide parts distribution center and set up a new modification center directly connected to Ford's Chennai manufacturing facility.
Then in 2015 – 2017, Umashankar was appointed as brand manager of Ford Asia Pacific. Based in Shanghai, he oversaw the regional launch of the new EcoSport, as well as the new Figo compact car that was launched in India, Middle East and Africa. Another key development that Umashankar made was the launching of the Ford Authorized Parts Distributor Network in Thailand. This was made in order to streamline parts sourcing as well as hasten parts delivery across the Ford network.
With his expertise in both parts and in customer service, will he able to improve Ford's aftersales experience in the Philippines?