Ford Motor Company Re-affirms Formula One Strategy
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (U.S.), Friday 27th September 2002 – Following Ford Motor Company’s three-month review of its Formula One activities, Group Vice President, Richard Parry-Jones, last week presented the recommendations to Ford’s senior management in Dearborn, U.S. The aim of the review was to understand exactly what is required to accelerate the competitiveness of Ford’s Jaguar Racing team and finding better ways of leveraging Ford Motor Company’s presence in Formula One.
The conclusions reached are as follows:
Ford Motor Company fully supports its commitment to Jaguar Racing in Formula One and is not looking to withdraw from the series nor is it looking to sell the team. On the contrary, Ford Motor Company will work even closer with Jaguar Racing over the long term in an effort to strengthen and accelerate its competitiveness in Formula One with the ultimate aim being to win the FIA Formula One World Championship.
To better utilize both, the engineering capability of Cosworth Racing to attract more customer business from Formula One, World Rally and U.S. based racing programmes, and the legendary Ford Cosworth brand.
Despite current difficult economic conditions and uncertainties in the sport, Formula One continues to provide a very good return on investment for Ford Motor Company. The benefits from competing at the top level of motor sport include advanced technology development, technical personnel development and clear marketing benefits. The value to Ford Motor Company will be enhanced further with the opportunity to re-leverage the Ford Cosworth association and the income streams which will result. “With our "works" team, Jaguar Racing, we are in Formula One to stay, ” said Sir Nick Scheele, Chief Operating Officer, Ford Motor Company. “Formula One is undoubtedly the world’s toughest proving ground, one that requires a sustained commitment in order to achieve success. Jaguar’s presence in Formula One is not driven by short-term marketing objectives. We are racing enthusiasts and the marque's connection with racing stretches from the time the company was founded by Sir William Lyons in 1922 right up to the present day. As former Chairman of Jaguar Cars, I recognize the marque's unique blend of emotion and technology that makes it one of the most evocative participants in Formula One."
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our tremendously loyal sponsor base. We are proud to be supported by the finest array of sponsors in Formula One. HSBC, Beck’s, AT&T, EDS, DuPont, HP, Michelin, Castrol, Rolex, Lear, SOliver are all blue chip, global businesses and household names. We are very appreciative of their long-term commitment to this project, " added Sir Nick.
"I am very pleased that the senior management of Ford Motor Company have endorsed the report," said Richard Parry-Jones, Group Vice President, Ford Motor Company and responsible for Global Motor Sport Programmes. "This sends a clear message that we are committed to Formula One and provides the stability the Jaguar Racing team need to build their competitiveness."
Richard added, "I am also very encouraged by the progress at Jaguar Racing this year. The efforts made towards correcting the technical deficiencies within the Jaguar F1 programme have come a long way since the beginning of this season and have been rewarded with a 6th place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix five weeks ago and at the last race in Monza where we finished on the podium behind the two Ferraris. In fact, the critical time line that we set ourselves for a turnaround this season is already ahead of schedule and more importantly, is now providing a clear and credible benchmark for next season’s challenger, the Jaguar R4."
Ford Motor Company has three separate businesses in Formula One known collectively as the Premier Performance Division, headed by Niki Lauda. These three businesses are made up of Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics. These companies operate somewhat independently of each other, except for the priority to Jaguar Racing with the best possible technological support. For example, Jaguar Racing will contest the 2003 Formula One season with a brand new, lightweight, 90-degree V10 engine supported with the latest generation electronic software.
“There is tremendous heritage and value on and off the race track for the Ford Cosworth association,” said Richard Parry-Jones. "With the return of Ford Cosworth RS road cars to Ford of Europe's product line-up, now is an excellent time to remind people of the advantages of being powered by Ford Cosworth engines. Therefore, we have decided to add the Ford Blue Oval Badge to our Cosworth Customer Engines and the first team to benefit from this would be Jordan Grand Prix who will use Ford Cosworth RS Engines from next season,” said Parry-Jones.
Jordan Grand Prix has signed a three-year agreement with Cosworth Racing and Ford for Jordan to use a development of the current Cosworth 3-litre V10 engine. Within the framework of this agreement, Jordan has developed a unique and innovative sponsor arrangement that enables Jordan to fund the Cosworth Racing contract that includes a dedicated team of Cosworth engineers to develop the engine further.
"We are excited by this opportunity to use Formula One to link the legendary Ford Cosworth heritage with the Ford of Europe brand message." Said Martin Leach, President and COO of Ford of Europe. "We're also taking the obvious opportunity to link the Formula One platform to our plans to re-introduce the Cosworth brand to our road car line up and create even more cost effective means of leveraging the tremendous marketing clout of Formula one."
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My next Ford.....