COLOGNE — Ford Europe has appointed Elvira Schachermeier as its new vice president of communications and public affairs.

When she joins the car manufacturer in December, Schachermeier will succeed Susan Krusel, who retires next month after more than 20 years at Ford, including leading communications and public affairs in Europe for the past three years.

Schachermeier (pictured) most recently served as Visa’s chief communications officer for the Europe region, capping a 16-year career with the global financial services company. She was responsible for developing Visa’s European communications strategy and acting as a strategic advisor to the company’s senior leadership team.

She led all related internal and external communications functions at Visa, with a focus on digital services and technology, including corporate, brand and product, integrated marketing campaigns, client communications and events, and employee communications, as well as CEO communications.

At Ford Europe, Schachermeier will be responsible for the company’s reputation and leading all internal and external communications initiatives across the region, including developing communications plans that build on Ford’s recent work on building a sustainably profitable business.

Schachermeier will be based in Cologne and will report to Ford Europe president Stuart Rowley in Cologne and Mark Truby, Ford’s chief communications officer, in Michigan.

Truby said: “Elvira is a highly-respected communications leader with a wealth of global experience. She will be an invaluable addition to our leadership team as Ford continues to execute our Ford+ plan to deliver great products and connected experiences for customers and continues to build a profitably growing business in Europe.

“We are also grateful for Susan’s leadership and contributions to Ford’s success throughout her career – particularly her recent role in helping to lead our transformation in Europe – and wish her the best in her retirement.”