Ford's Board of Directors has elected Greg Smith as a group vice president and named him chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Credit Company.

Previously, Smith, 51, was a company vice president and president and chief operating officer, Ford Credit.

"A dynamic and vital Ford Credit is essential to the company's long-term prosperity," said Bill Ford, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Company. "Greg Smith and his team have transformed Ford Credit into a cornerstone of our revitalisation plan."

The board also elected John Fleming a company vice president. Fleming, 51, is vice president, Manufacturing, Ford of Europe, a position he has held since April 2001.

"Flexible and efficient manufacturing has been key to Ford of Europe's turnaround," said Mr Ford. "John Fleming and his team have played a big role in that effort."