Ford has appointed Andy Barratt as its new chairman and managing director and he will take up the position on 1 July.

Barratt takes over from Mark Ovenden who has been appointed as president and chief executive of Ford Sollers, the joint vehicle manufacturing ventre between Ford and JSC Sollers in Russia.

Barratt has been promoted to the top job at Ford GB from his position as sales director which he has held since July 2011. Prior to this he was director, Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD), Ford of Britain. Barratt was a district sales manager in Ford of Britain before his role as director FCSD and before that had led the UK sales teams for five years in the Eastern and Northern districts.

Ford said Barratt’s replacement will be revealed in a separate announcement.

Ovenden returned to Britain as managing director in August 2011 and was appointed to the dual role as chairman and managing director in April 2013.

Before his August 2011 appointment he was managing director and president of Ford Russia, as part of a three-year assignment.

Ford is the top fleet manufactuer in the UK. In 2014, 164,901 Blue Oval cars were registered to fleets. The Focus was the most popular fleet vehicle of last year with 53,825 registrations.

Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe, said: “Andy has a wealth of experience in the UK business that makes him well placed to manage Ford’s biggest European market and to take on the chairman’s responsibilities, representing Ford on key issues such as the future of UK automotive manufacturing, skills, research and development, and the low-emissions agenda.”