Ford group vice-president and product guru to retire at the end of 2007
18 October 2007

Richard Parry-Jones, group vice-president and chief technical officer at Ford, will retire on 31 December 2007 after 30 years with the company.Parry Jones commented on his decision to retire, saying that he is "most proud of the fantastic people I've worked with and the fantastic products we've created." Dr Gerhard Schmidt, currently Ford's vice president of research and advanced engineering, will assume the role of chief technical officer alongside his present duties.Ford president Alan Mulally said that "Richard's feel for the customer and technical expertise has helped improve all our brands, and his drive and determination have been an inspiration to our engineers."In more recent years, Parry-Jones has specialised in the development of environmental technologies and is also renowned for his expertise in driving dynamics and refinement.When asked which products he was most proud of, Parry-Jones named the 1993 Mondeo and 1998 Focus; both milestones in the evolution of Ford. We like Parry-Jones so much we gave him our 'Man of the Year' award in 1994, and he'll be sorely missed should he decide to exit the industry all together. If his achievements are anything to go by, Ford will miss him more than most.

Richard Parry-Jones: What he's achieved

Parry-Jones joined the Ford Product Development Group in 1969 as a trainee, before starting his first full-time position in 1973. By 1982 he was appointed manager of Small Car Programs and was central to the development of the Escort. Between 1994 and 1998 Parry-Jones was vice-president of the Product Development Group, during which time he led the development of the Focus, Ka, Fiesta, Puma and Mondeo. He became group-vice president in 1998 before being appointed chief technical officer in 2001.

Our Verdict

Ford Mondeo 2007-2014

The Ford Mondeo is a fine car in most areas. The family hatch is still a class leader even as its replacement nears

Join the debate


21 June 2008

Reading between the lines, FMC have said that one man can do the work of two people, wonder how Parry-Jones feels about that then and whether it was his decision to move on?

Was he being carried (?) because that's what it sounds like to me reading the article.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring