Ford has named North America manufacturing chief Joe Hinrichs head of global manufacturing from 1 January, 2008.

In a statement, Ford said Hinrichs would lead the worldwide integration of the company's manufacturing operations and its engineering support for vehicle, powertrain and stamping.

Hinrichs is expected to more closely align Ford manufacturing and product development worldwide while will continuing to directly oversee North American manufacturing operations. He will also be responsible for the company's material planning and logistics, production system, and manufacturing business office organisations globally.

CEO Allan Mulally said: "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."