Ford Middle East Promotes Ravi Ravichandran to President
Ford Middle East has begun 2024 with the appointment of Ravi Ravichandran as President as it gears up to deliver reimagined customer experiences, launch exciting new vehicles, sustain brands and sales growth, and lay the groundwork for bringing its electric vehicles to the region starting 2025.
Ravichandran takes on his new responsibility after three years as Executive Director – Middle East Operations for Ford International Markets Group (IMG) – a role in which he was responsible for the growth and profitability of the Ford and Lincoln brands with its distributor partners across the Middle East.
Ravichandran brings more than two decades of experience in the automotive industry. He joined Ford Motor Company in 1997 and during his tenure has held various positions in marketing and sales, strategy and finance, and manufacturing operations in India, China, and Middle East and Africa markets.
“The automotive industry in the Middle East is expected to continue its steady growth into 2024, driven by increasing consumer demand for vehicles, easing supply-side disruptions, economic growth in the region, and government initiatives to promote the automotive sector, especially in Saudi Arabia,” said Ravichandran.
Ford Middle East aims to build on the impressive platform built in 2023, which saw year-on-year sales up 70%, to develop into one of the region’s most desired automotive brands.
Ravichandran has promoted Sami Malkawi and Pedro Simões to new, more senior and expended positions at Ford Middle East.
Following seven years with Lincoln Middle East – the past two and a half as Managing Director – Malkawi is now Ford and Lincoln Managing Director, Sales Operations in the Middle East.
With 15 years of automotive experience spanning sales, marketing, connectivity, distribution development, P&L, and customer service, Malkawi brings a strategic, solutions-oriented approach to his new role, in which he aims to expand Ford and Lincoln’s market reach across the region.
As managing director for both automotive brands, Malkawi will focus on strengthening relationships with distributors and partners, working with the former to optimize sales and marketing efforts, while supporting with comprehensive training. “Having done the Lincoln role, I am already acquainted with our distributor network on a deeper level, which allows us to immediately kick off our business priorities,” he said.
He will also work closely with Ford Middle East’s customer experience team to enhance satisfaction and loyalty by innovating new customer-centric initiatives.
Meanwhile, Simões takes on an expanded role as Director of Ford and Lincoln Marketing, Commercial Vehicles, and Fleet, following a decade of brand and product marketing experience working with passenger vehicles, SUVs, and commercial vehicles – the past three years of which he has served as Marketing Director at Ford Middle East.
Simões said Ford’s brand perception has been on an upward trajectory, and the company plans to maintain its steady growth through 2024. “On one side, we have an amazing lineup of must-have exciting products, maybe the best ever, and we will continue to invest in refreshing them. Additionally, to address the increased customer demand, we will be adding soon more electrification to our product range, expanding the offering available to our customers.
As Ford Middle East embarks on this journey, these leadership changes set the stage for an exciting future, building on the successes of 2023 and steering towards new horizons in the dynamic Middle East automotive landscape.
Looking beyond 2024, the company recently broke ground at the site of the upcoming DB Schenker – Ford Parts Distribution Center (PDC) in Dubai Logistics District, part of Dubai World Central. Set to commence operations in January 2025, the 41,792-sq-m PDC will be a consolidated storage and distribution site, ensuring better availability of parts, optimizing inventory management, and enhancing customer service.