DETROIT -- Dianne Craig, Ford's director of U.S. sales since Jan. 1, has entered her new job facing rising incentives and falling new-vehicle demand.
Managing a plateauing market will differ from the challenge she faced as head of Ford's Canada division, where she presided over the peak of the sales cycle.
Craig, 53, was in Canada from November 2011 through 2016. Under her watch, Ford continued its run as the top-selling brand there, a title it has held for the past eight years. The automaker notched record dealer profitability and record customer satisfaction scores by internal metrics, she said, although Ford declined to provide specifics.
To repeat that success in the United States, Craig said she'll implement many leadership practices that marked her tenure in Canada, the most vital of which is getting out and meeting dealers face to face.
"I truly believe the answers are in the marketplace," she told Automotive News. "We don't have all the answers here in Dearborn."
Since her promotion took effect roughly 80 days ago, Craig has met with dealers at events in New Orleans and Georgia and has visited a handful of sites across the country.
Natalie Tindol, dealer principal at Tindol Ford in Gastonia, N.C., has met with Craig several times, and said she's excited to have her expertise in the United States.
"She has a great reputation with dealers," Tindol said. "She cares and seems to have the best interest of all top of mind. We are partners and she understands that."