Ford Motor Co. today makes senior-management changes it says will strengthen its global manufacturing operations.

James Tetreault, Ford of Europe’ vice president-manufacturing, will return to the U.S. to become vice president-North American manufacturing.

Tetreault joined Ford in 1988 and has held several manufacturing and quality leadership positions in North America before his assignment in Europe in 2005.

In his new role, he will leverage his experience in Europe to improve Ford’s production flexibility and efficiency in North America as the auto maker retools several truck factories to launch smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Tetreault will be succeeded by Ken Macfarlane, current director of North American truck-manufacturing operations. Macfarlane joined Ford in 1973 and has held a series of manufacturing and engineering leadership positions in North America.

Tetreault and Macfarlane will report to Joe Hinrichs, group vice president-global manufacturing. Macfarlane also will report to Ford of Europe President and CEO John Fleming.

“These leadership changes represent an important step toward putting our global manufacturing operations fully in place and achieving industry leading flexibility and common global mean manufacturing practices,” Hinrichs says in a statement.

“Jim is a highly respected executive with a wealth of experience in quality and manufacturing at Ford. Knowing that our North America business is in such capable hands will allow me to focus on my broader global responsibilities.”

Both appointments are effective Dec. 1.