Birgit A. Behrendt was elected a corporate officer and named vice president, Global Programs and Purchasing Operations, Ford Motor Company effective Aug. 1, 2013. Behrendt is responsible for leveraging global, regional and local scale to improve costs and operational efficiency. Behrendt also partners with Product Development and Core Purchasing to translate product innovation and technology needs into procurement strategies, leveraging strong relationships with Ford’s global supply base.
Previously, she was executive director, Global Programs and the Americas Purchasing. In this role, Behrendt oversaw all Purchasing activities for Ford's North and South America operations while working closely with Product Development on all global vehicle and powertrain programs.
From April 1, 2008 through July 2010, Behrendt was vice president, Purchasing, Ford of Europe, and executive director, Global Programs.
She was appointed vice president, Purchasing, Ford of Europe in February 2004 and also served on the Supervisory Board of Ford-Werke GmbH, as well as the Board of Ford Getrag Transmission (GFT) GmbH through May 2010.
From September 2000 to February 2004, Behrendt was director for Global Body and Exterior Purchasing. Prior to September 2000, Behrendt was a program manager for Vehicle Procurement Operations and manager of Global Strategy for the Purchasing Business Office.
Behrendt was named “Woman of the Year” by Automotive News Europe magazine in January 2008 in recognition of her accomplishments in the automotive industry in Europe. Other recognitions include “Top 25 Most Influential Business Women” by Financial Times Deutschland in 2008 and 2009 and the prestigious “Female Executive of the Year” from the Mestemacher Group in Germany. In 2010 and 2015, Automotive News named Behrendt among the 100 leading women in the North American auto industry. In the same year, dbusiness named her a “2015 Powered by Women” honoree. In 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business listed her among the 100 “Most Influential Women in Michigan”.
Since 2012, Behrendt has served on the Board of Directors of the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Michigan Chapter. She has also served on the Supervisory Board of KION AG in Wiesbaden, Germany since January 2015.
Behrendt joined Ford in Cologne, Germany in 1978 as a commercial apprentice and has a business degree from the Administration and Business Academy (Verwaltungs und Wirtschaftsakademie) in Cologne, Germany.