Former Premier Automotive Group head, Mark Fields, has been promoted to Ford number two
1 November 2012

Ford has appointed Mark Fields as the company’s chief operating officer, promoting him from his current position as the head of Ford Americas. Industry watchers say that this increases the chances of Fields becoming head of Ford when current CEO Allan Mulallay steps down.

Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, also announced that Mulally, who was the head of Boeing before he joined Ford, will remain as the CEO of the company until the end of 2014.

Fields is best-known in the European car industry as the boss of Ford’s old Premier Auto Group, which then included Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln. He replaced ex-BMW product supremo Wolfgang Reitzle in 2002, whose plan for investing heavily in the PAG Group was rejected by Ford.

Fields left the PAG group in 2006 after which it was slowly dismantled, with Ford selling off JLR in 2006, Aston in 2007 and Volvo in 2008. Critics say that under Fields’ direction, PAG did not take advantage of the global move towards premium brands and that the dismantling of PAG under Mulally, after he became CEO in 2006, was a significant strategic mistake — particularly in light of the subsequent success of JLR.

 

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1 November 2012

Does anyone notice how this picture makes him look like Steve Carell from the US version of The Office?

Just hope that doesn't go hand in hand with the comments about his time at PAG.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

1 November 2012

"Fields is best-known in the European car industry as the boss of Ford’s old Premier Auto Group..." In other words, Fields is the man who 'achieved' the following:

  • turned Jag into a loss-making manufacturer of cars for bourgeois old farts (subsequently reversed, obviously, by Tata)
  •  oversaw the embarassing mid-grid money-pit that was Jag's F1 team (subsequently reversed, obviously, by Red Bull)
  • couldn't get a grip on Land Rover's poor reliability
  • ensured Volvos became pricey to maintain and lost their bombproof reputation, and remained dull to drive/own 
  • left Aston half-baked, vulnerable and uncompetitve

Impressive.   

1 November 2012

Your comment annoyed me greatly and subsequently I felt compelled to create an account and reply.

  • Jaguar was never a profitable company but saw a turn in fortune just before their sale in 2006. Under ford ownership Jaguar engineered the XF and all aluminium XJ, which by my recollection are highly rated amongst Autocar.
  • The Jaguar F1 team was Fords attempt to promote their newly purchased Jaguar brand, taking over from Paul and Sir Jackie Stewart’s Stewart Grand Prix team, a team that had only just been formed in 1996. Unstable and ever-changing management were never going to win Jaguar a race, never mind a championship. It took Red Bull several years, an unlimited supply of money from uncle Mateschitz’s never ending wallet and Adrian Newey to engineer a win.
  • Land Rover, ever burdened with the Rover Group's terrible management, is still feeling the unreliability today. Every model is getting better, but not even the wealth of Tata can cleanse the tarnished veneer of Rover’s handy work. Even BMW failed at their attempt.
  • Volvo's automotive division was sold off due to losses in 2005 and 2008.  With such a small line-up Ford had to invest and diversify, broadening the line up tremendously. Volvo are still bombproof and ever increasing the safety aspect of their cars.
  • Ford revolutionised Aston Martin, bringing them back up into the 21st century. From being coach built to selling modern, up to date sports and super cars, something Lionel Martin would be proud of today

So in all I think Ford’s contribution has far outweighed its foibles, leaving the automotive world in a much better place.  

1 November 2012

Some of the dates are very wrong in this article.  Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata in 2008, while Volvo were sold to Geely in 2010.

1 November 2012

To add further info, Ford gained massively from Volvos safety expertise, Volvo helped to develop Fords EUCD platform, provided Ford with the 2.5 turbo petrol engine for its Focus ST and RS models and the straight 6 petrol engine used the the export market Freelander, Volvo go some nice small PSA diesels, Volvo should have been partnered with Jaguar it had more in common with Jaguar than Jaguar had with Land Rover, and perhaps we would have seen an XF estate a lot sooner, and the XF would have been a 5 star EuroNcap car not 4, and Jaguar could have started using straight 6 engines again not V6s.. Also IMO the Volvo S80 is 6 or 7 years old, but aged remarkably well, with very little exterior changes apart from a bit of extra chrome..

2 November 2012

Citytiger wrote:

To add further info, Ford gained massively from Volvos safety expertise, Volvo helped to develop Fords EUCD platform, provided Ford with the 2.5 turbo petrol engine for its Focus ST and RS models and the straight 6 petrol engine used the the export market Freelander, Volvo go some nice small PSA diesels, Volvo should have been partnered with Jaguar it had more in common with Jaguar than Jaguar had with Land Rover, and perhaps we would have seen an XF estate a lot sooner, and the XF would have been a 5 star EuroNcap car not 4, and Jaguar could have started using straight 6 engines again not V6s.. Also IMO the Volvo S80 is 6 or 7 years old, but aged remarkably well, with very little exterior changes apart from a bit of extra chrome..

Ford helped themselves in addition to Volvo's P2 platform which underpinned the previous S80, V70 and S60 as well as the current XC90.  Today in modified form it underpins various US Ford's and Lincoln's.  It is also rumored that the hybrid tech in the Escape was up-and-coming in Volvo's range and pinched by Ford too.

I still maintain to this day that Volvo's 3.2 I6 would have been the perfect engine in the Jaguar XF.  Besides being a superior unit to the Duratec V6, it also links in with Jaguar's heritage of straight six engines and is a missed opportunity in my opinion.

 

3 November 2012

Volvophile wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

To add further info, Ford gained massively from Volvos safety expertise, Volvo helped to develop Fords EUCD platform, provided Ford with the 2.5 turbo petrol engine for its Focus ST and RS models and the straight 6 petrol engine used the the export market Freelander, Volvo go some nice small PSA diesels, Volvo should have been partnered with Jaguar it had more in common with Jaguar than Jaguar had with Land Rover, and perhaps we would have seen an XF estate a lot sooner, and the XF would have been a 5 star EuroNcap car not 4, and Jaguar could have started using straight 6 engines again not V6s.. Also IMO the Volvo S80 is 6 or 7 years old, but aged remarkably well, with very little exterior changes apart from a bit of extra chrome..

Ford helped themselves in addition to Volvo's P2 platform which underpinned the previous S80, V70 and S60 as well as the current XC90.  Today in modified form it underpins various US Ford's and Lincoln's.  It is also rumored that the hybrid tech in the Escape was up-and-coming in Volvo's range and pinched by Ford too.

I still maintain to this day that Volvo's 3.2 I6 would have been the perfect engine in the Jaguar XF.  Besides being a superior unit to the Duratec V6, it also links in with Jaguar's heritage of straight six engines and is a missed opportunity in my opinion. 

Agree 100%, people are far to quick to right off Volvo, without even trying them out, I will be picking up a new S80 D4 geartronic on Monday, I dont really care ifthe residuals are terrible or it will not go round the nurbergring in under 8 minutes, what it will do is transport me in supreme comfort to my destination and back, and I dont get the dirty looks reserved for Audi and BMW drivers, and its my car bought with my own money not a company vehicle. 

Volvo are going from strength to strength, the V40 is proof of that, when the Polestar tuned cars start coming on stream, Volvo will be genuine contenders..

2 November 2012

Jaguar and Volvo have little in common. Jaguar and Land Rover can share far more parts. Jag and volvo would only be good for small hatches and an suv

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