Andy Barratt – Ford of Britain managing director – is taking a ‘leave of absence’ from the manufacturer and has been replaced by his deputy.
Ford dealers have been told the much-loved boss of the biggest selling car manufacturer in the UK is currently away from the business and it is not known when he will return.
Barratt has been at the company for nearly 25 years holding several senior positions in the company.
Lisa Brankin, sales director, is deputising for Barratt while he is away.
One dealer said: ‘We have no idea why he is away. Ford is being very tight lipped as to why Andy is off and we don’t know when he is back.
‘It’s all rather strange. We were sent a bulletin this week, but it lacked detail and said Lisa was taking over but didn’t say when Andy would be back.’
Another Ford dealer boss – who also wished to remain anonymous – told us the bulletin was ‘literally two lines long’.
‘It said little more than Lisa was acting MD,’ he added.
A spokesman told Car Dealer: ‘Andy is on a temporary leave of absence until further notice. To respect the privacy of our employees, we do not discuss details on matters involving our people.’
And in a statement, Ford added: ‘Lisa Brankin has been named as acting managing director of Ford of Britain and Ireland, effective October 1.
‘The appointment is being made as the current managing director, Andy Barratt, takes a temporary leave of absence.
‘In addition to her new responsibilities running the Ford business in the UK and Ireland, Brankin will continue managing her current responsibilities as director of passenger vehicles.’
Barratt last spoke to Car Dealer in April at the height of the lockdown. You can watch the Car Dealer Live interview at the top of this page.
Published: Oct 2, 10:13; Updated Oct 2, 10:55 with Ford comment