Devon Cohen Joins FordDirect.com as Chief Executive; Nine States Now On-line, Including Texas and California

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ford Motor Company and FordDirect.com

    DEARBORN, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- FordDirect.com, the dealer-led
 online company offering consumers the ability to purchase Ford cars and trucks
 from Ford Division dealers, today announced the completion of its management
 team and the official on-line debut of its operations in nine states.
     Devon M. Cohen joins FordDirect as chief executive officer, completing the
 management team that has been headed by former Ford dealers David Kain, chief
 operating officer, and Leo Hillock, vice president of dealer operations.
 Before joining FordDirect, Cohen was group vice president, automotive, at
 TradeOut, the business-to-business sister company of eBay, where he was
 responsible for the creation of the automotive business model that sold more
 than $3.6 million in its first three months of operation.
     FordDirect also announced today that it is now fully operational in nine
 states:  California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,
 Tennessee, Texas and Washington.  Taken together, these states represent about
 35 percent of Ford Division's annual car and truck sales in the United States.
     Cohen brings to FordDirect a diverse blend of skills and accomplishments
 in financial management in automotive finance, starting and running businesses
 from the ground up and on-line sales.
     "Devon is the ideal executive to lead FordDirect," said Bill Keith,
 chairman of the FordDirect board of directors and dealer principal of Freehold
 Ford in Freehold, N.J.
     "He knows the automotive business.  He knows the Internet business.  He
 has been an entrepreneur.  This combination of talent and experience is very
 rare.  We're very fortunate to be able to attract someone of Devon's
 accomplishments to lead our team," Keith said.
     "FordDirect is not just another Internet venture," Cohen said.
 "FordDirect represents the next wave in the evolution of how dealers and
 manufacturers can work together.  What Ford dealers have created is truly
 historic," Cohen said.  "It's like a new highway that has never been traveled
 before."
     On a personal note, Cohen noted, "I have entrepreneurship in my blood.
 Having worked in several successful situations in the past, you begin to
 quickly recognize the key elements of success.  And this is it!  FordDirect is
 the kind of opportunity that comes only rarely in a person's career.  I'm very
 fortunate to have the confidence that the board has placed in me."
     Before joining TradeOut, Cohen held a number of positions with financial
 services companies.  He was vice president and general manager at
 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services where he was responsible for a $15 billion
 portfolio and zone offices with more than 500 people who were responsible for
 dealer financial services for one third of the United States.
     Prior to DaimlerChrysler Financial, Cohen was vice president - services
 division at Mercedes Benz Credit Corp. and was responsible for information
 systems, developing shared services and a new division that acquired, built
 and managed service fee businesses related to the automotive value chain.
 And prior to those responsibilities, Cohen was cofounder and chief executive
 officer of Remarketing Services of America which he sold to Mercedes Benz
 Credit in 1996.  Cohen earned his CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick and graduated
 from the State University of New York in Binghamton with a B.S. degree in
 accounting in 1979.
     FordDirect.com was formed in August by the national Ford Dealer Council
 and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:   F).  Test marketing of FordDirect's services
 began in New Jersey in December 2000 before being extended to the full state
 in January and to Delaware in March.  The additional seven states were soon
 added with more states to follow to complete the national roll-out.
     Dealer participation is voluntary.  In New Jersey, the first state where
 operations began, more than 95 percent of the eligible Ford dealers are
 participating.  Dealer commitment in California and Texas exceeds 90 percent.
     "We are very proud of the momentum that has built up in a short period of
 time," said David Kain, chief operating officer.  "Nothing like FordDirect has
 ever been created before.  Since August, the response from Ford dealers, and
 now our customers, has been very gratifying."
     The following join Cohen as FordDirect's core management team (profile of
 Cohen follows):
     DAVID KAIN, chief operating officer.  Kain has been involved with the
 creation of FordDirect since its inception with the national Ford Dealer
 Council and personally joined Jerry Reynolds, dealer council president, to
 launch the venture in August 2000.  Kain grew up in the car business in
 central Kentucky.  He worked his way up through the family business to become
 general manager and dealer principal.  He and his wife and their three
 children now live in the Detroit area while he concentrates on the national
 roll-out of FordDirect.
     LEO HILLOCK, vice president of dealer operations.  Hillock is a 27-year
 veteran of the automobile business.  He began his automotive career in 1974 at
 Powell Motor Company, a Ford dealership in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  He held
 numerous managerial positions for various automobile dealerships in south
 Florida before rejoining Powell Motor Company in 1989 as vice president and
 general manager.  In 1997, Powell Motor Company was sold to AutoNation, and
 Hillock was named president and general manager of the new company.  He joined
 FordDirect November 2000.  Hillock is married and has two sons.
     JARED ROWE, vice president of technology.  Rowe joins FordDirect from
 YapStone, Inc. where he held the position of vice president of business
 development.  Rowe has also worked for Autobytel.com and Toyota Motor Sales,
 USA.  While with Autobytel.com, he held various positions including market
 representation and product and business development.  Rowe holds a dual B.A.
 degree from Northwood University in business administration and automotive
 marketing.
     STEVE ST. ANDRE, vice president of business development and marketing.
 St. Andre joins FordDirect from Autoweb.com where he was director of corporate
 strategy and negotiated arrangements with original equipment manufacturers and
 portal automotive verticals such as America Online, CarsDirect, Saturn, Isuzu
 and Infiniti.  St. Andre also spent several years in various consulting roles
 with automotive manufacturers including American Honda Motor, Nissan Motor
 Corporation and Cadillac Motor Car Division.  St. Andre grew up in a suburb of
 Boston and holds a B.A. degree from the Eli Broad College of Business at
 Michigan State University.
     TED VINCENT, chief financial officer.  Vincent joins FordDirect from
 Lincoln Mercury where he held various positions in pricing and contest and
 incentive financial planning.  Vincent also spent several years with I.B.M.
 and Nissan Motor Corporation where he held the position of finance manager of
 Infiniti Division.  Vincent holds a B.A. from the University of California and
 an M.B.A. from Michigan State University.
     JACK VALENTIC, executive advisor.  Valentic brings to FordDirect a unique
 blend of manufacturer and dealer experience.  Most recently, he was Dealer
 Relations Executive at Ford Division.  His 30-year career at Ford was spent in
 various positions of increasing responsibility around the country, beginning
 on the East Coast in Newark, N.J., and ranging from Philadelphia to Seattle,
 and Kansas City to Dearborn.  Valentic holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from the
 University of Buffalo and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University.
 
     Profile:   DEVON M. COHEN
                Chief Executive Officer
 
     Devon Cohen brings to FordDirect the discipline of a financial manager and
 the innovation of an entrepreneur who has created and built businesses from
 the ground up.
     In 1990 as a senior vice president at Marine Midland Automotive Finance
 (MMAFC), Cohen was given the responsibility of selling the bank's automotive
 finance business.  That transaction resulted in the creation of Primus, which
 is now Ford Credit's financial arm for Jaguar, Mazda and other brands.  Cohen
 was then asked to manage Marine Midland's $6 billion portfolio and was able to
 reduce the bank's losses on its residuals by $1,100 per car through improved
 marketing efforts on cars coming off lease.
     In 1991, Cohen and two partners raised private capital to start
 Remarketing Services of America (RSA).  The business first operated out of a
 borrowed office and had to sell proprietary software to meet payroll expenses,
 but in time, RSA grew into an enterprise with $25 million in revenue and 400
 employees that was acquired in 1996 by Mercedes Benz Credit.
     He was then asked to join the executive leadership team at Mercedes Benz
 Credit as a vice president of their newly-formed services division.  This
 group was responsible for information systems, finance and accounting and
 building new service fee-based businesses related to the automotive value
 chain.  After the merger that created DaimlerChrysler, he then moved to
 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services (DCFS) where he oversaw a $15 billion
 portfolio and managed more than 500 people who were responsible for dealer
 financial services for a third of the country, and was the primary liaison
 between DCFS and Chrysler and Jeep brands.
     At DCFS, Cohen was responsible for developing the plan to consolidate
 customer service and collection operations of Mercedes Benz Credit and
 Chrysler Finance to simultaneously improve internal efficiencies as well as
 customer satisfaction.
     In 2000, Cohen joined TradeOut as automotive group vice president to
 create the automotive business model for the business-to-business sister
 company of eBay that sells off-lease vehicles directly to dealers.
     He joined FordDirect as chief executive officer in March 2001.  Cohen is
 married with a son and two daughters and lives in Franklin, Mich.
 
 

SOURCE Ford Motor Company and FordDirect.com
    DEARBORN, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- FordDirect.com, the dealer-led
 online company offering consumers the ability to purchase Ford cars and trucks
 from Ford Division dealers, today announced the completion of its management
 team and the official on-line debut of its operations in nine states.
     Devon M. Cohen joins FordDirect as chief executive officer, completing the
 management team that has been headed by former Ford dealers David Kain, chief
 operating officer, and Leo Hillock, vice president of dealer operations.
 Before joining FordDirect, Cohen was group vice president, automotive, at
 TradeOut, the business-to-business sister company of eBay, where he was
 responsible for the creation of the automotive business model that sold more
 than $3.6 million in its first three months of operation.
     FordDirect also announced today that it is now fully operational in nine
 states:  California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,
 Tennessee, Texas and Washington.  Taken together, these states represent about
 35 percent of Ford Division's annual car and truck sales in the United States.
     Cohen brings to FordDirect a diverse blend of skills and accomplishments
 in financial management in automotive finance, starting and running businesses
 from the ground up and on-line sales.
     "Devon is the ideal executive to lead FordDirect," said Bill Keith,
 chairman of the FordDirect board of directors and dealer principal of Freehold
 Ford in Freehold, N.J.
     "He knows the automotive business.  He knows the Internet business.  He
 has been an entrepreneur.  This combination of talent and experience is very
 rare.  We're very fortunate to be able to attract someone of Devon's
 accomplishments to lead our team," Keith said.
     "FordDirect is not just another Internet venture," Cohen said.
 "FordDirect represents the next wave in the evolution of how dealers and
 manufacturers can work together.  What Ford dealers have created is truly
 historic," Cohen said.  "It's like a new highway that has never been traveled
 before."
     On a personal note, Cohen noted, "I have entrepreneurship in my blood.
 Having worked in several successful situations in the past, you begin to
 quickly recognize the key elements of success.  And this is it!  FordDirect is
 the kind of opportunity that comes only rarely in a person's career.  I'm very
 fortunate to have the confidence that the board has placed in me."
     Before joining TradeOut, Cohen held a number of positions with financial
 services companies.  He was vice president and general manager at
 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services where he was responsible for a $15 billion
 portfolio and zone offices with more than 500 people who were responsible for
 dealer financial services for one third of the United States.
     Prior to DaimlerChrysler Financial, Cohen was vice president - services
 division at Mercedes Benz Credit Corp. and was responsible for information
 systems, developing shared services and a new division that acquired, built
 and managed service fee businesses related to the automotive value chain.
 And prior to those responsibilities, Cohen was cofounder and chief executive
 officer of Remarketing Services of America which he sold to Mercedes Benz
 Credit in 1996.  Cohen earned his CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick and graduated
 from the State University of New York in Binghamton with a B.S. degree in
 accounting in 1979.
     FordDirect.com was formed in August by the national Ford Dealer Council
 and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:   F).  Test marketing of FordDirect's services
 began in New Jersey in December 2000 before being extended to the full state
 in January and to Delaware in March.  The additional seven states were soon
 added with more states to follow to complete the national roll-out.
     Dealer participation is voluntary.  In New Jersey, the first state where
 operations began, more than 95 percent of the eligible Ford dealers are
 participating.  Dealer commitment in California and Texas exceeds 90 percent.
     "We are very proud of the momentum that has built up in a short period of
 time," said David Kain, chief operating officer.  "Nothing like FordDirect has
 ever been created before.  Since August, the response from Ford dealers, and
 now our customers, has been very gratifying."
     The following join Cohen as FordDirect's core management team (profile of
 Cohen follows):
     DAVID KAIN, chief operating officer.  Kain has been involved with the
 creation of FordDirect since its inception with the national Ford Dealer
 Council and personally joined Jerry Reynolds, dealer council president, to
 launch the venture in August 2000.  Kain grew up in the car business in
 central Kentucky.  He worked his way up through the family business to become
 general manager and dealer principal.  He and his wife and their three
 children now live in the Detroit area while he concentrates on the national
 roll-out of FordDirect.
     LEO HILLOCK, vice president of dealer operations.  Hillock is a 27-year
 veteran of the automobile business.  He began his automotive career in 1974 at
 Powell Motor Company, a Ford dealership in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  He held
 numerous managerial positions for various automobile dealerships in south
 Florida before rejoining Powell Motor Company in 1989 as vice president and
 general manager.  In 1997, Powell Motor Company was sold to AutoNation, and
 Hillock was named president and general manager of the new company.  He joined
 FordDirect November 2000.  Hillock is married and has two sons.
     JARED ROWE, vice president of technology.  Rowe joins FordDirect from
 YapStone, Inc. where he held the position of vice president of business
 development.  Rowe has also worked for Autobytel.com and Toyota Motor Sales,
 USA.  While with Autobytel.com, he held various positions including market
 representation and product and business development.  Rowe holds a dual B.A.
 degree from Northwood University in business administration and automotive
 marketing.
     STEVE ST. ANDRE, vice president of business development and marketing.
 St. Andre joins FordDirect from Autoweb.com where he was director of corporate
 strategy and negotiated arrangements with original equipment manufacturers and
 portal automotive verticals such as America Online, CarsDirect, Saturn, Isuzu
 and Infiniti.  St. Andre also spent several years in various consulting roles
 with automotive manufacturers including American Honda Motor, Nissan Motor
 Corporation and Cadillac Motor Car Division.  St. Andre grew up in a suburb of
 Boston and holds a B.A. degree from the Eli Broad College of Business at
 Michigan State University.
     TED VINCENT, chief financial officer.  Vincent joins FordDirect from
 Lincoln Mercury where he held various positions in pricing and contest and
 incentive financial planning.  Vincent also spent several years with I.B.M.
 and Nissan Motor Corporation where he held the position of finance manager of
 Infiniti Division.  Vincent holds a B.A. from the University of California and
 an M.B.A. from Michigan State University.
     JACK VALENTIC, executive advisor.  Valentic brings to FordDirect a unique
 blend of manufacturer and dealer experience.  Most recently, he was Dealer
 Relations Executive at Ford Division.  His 30-year career at Ford was spent in
 various positions of increasing responsibility around the country, beginning
 on the East Coast in Newark, N.J., and ranging from Philadelphia to Seattle,
 and Kansas City to Dearborn.  Valentic holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from the
 University of Buffalo and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University.
 
     Profile:   DEVON M. COHEN
                Chief Executive Officer
 
     Devon Cohen brings to FordDirect the discipline of a financial manager and
 the innovation of an entrepreneur who has created and built businesses from
 the ground up.
     In 1990 as a senior vice president at Marine Midland Automotive Finance
 (MMAFC), Cohen was given the responsibility of selling the bank's automotive
 finance business.  That transaction resulted in the creation of Primus, which
 is now Ford Credit's financial arm for Jaguar, Mazda and other brands.  Cohen
 was then asked to manage Marine Midland's $6 billion portfolio and was able to
 reduce the bank's losses on its residuals by $1,100 per car through improved
 marketing efforts on cars coming off lease.
     In 1991, Cohen and two partners raised private capital to start
 Remarketing Services of America (RSA).  The business first operated out of a
 borrowed office and had to sell proprietary software to meet payroll expenses,
 but in time, RSA grew into an enterprise with $25 million in revenue and 400
 employees that was acquired in 1996 by Mercedes Benz Credit.
     He was then asked to join the executive leadership team at Mercedes Benz
 Credit as a vice president of their newly-formed services division.  This
 group was responsible for information systems, finance and accounting and
 building new service fee-based businesses related to the automotive value
 chain.  After the merger that created DaimlerChrysler, he then moved to
 DaimlerChrysler Financial Services (DCFS) where he oversaw a $15 billion
 portfolio and managed more than 500 people who were responsible for dealer
 financial services for a third of the country, and was the primary liaison
 between DCFS and Chrysler and Jeep brands.
     At DCFS, Cohen was responsible for developing the plan to consolidate
 customer service and collection operations of Mercedes Benz Credit and
 Chrysler Finance to simultaneously improve internal efficiencies as well as
 customer satisfaction.
     In 2000, Cohen joined TradeOut as automotive group vice president to
 create the automotive business model for the business-to-business sister
 company of eBay that sells off-lease vehicles directly to dealers.
     He joined FordDirect as chief executive officer in March 2001.  Cohen is
 married with a son and two daughters and lives in Franklin, Mich.
 
 SOURCE  Ford Motor Company and FordDirect.com

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