Ford design vice president heads to London
The firm also expanded J Mays' role to include chief creative officer for each of its eight brands.
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
J Mays' commute to Dearborn is getting longer.
Ford Motor Co.'s group vice president for design will be based in London with the addition of a second job title -- chief creative officer.
Mays, 50, has been spending 10 days out of every month in England since mid-2003 to fulfill his responsibilities outside of North America. Mays likely will work out of Ford's London studio in Soho.
Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake said Mays' expanded job title will require him to address design on a more strategic, long-term basis.
"J's still going to continue delivering design for each of our eight brands," Flake said. "This expanded role ensures that he'll invest even more time working with individual brands to support their design (research and development) for the next decade and beyond."
Mays is orchestrating the rollout of 65 new product launches in North America over the next five years.
Peter Horbury, executive director of North American design, and his European counterpart, Martin Smith, will report to Mays.
The Oklahoma native spent his early years as a designer with BMW AG in Germany. He also worked for Audi AG and Volkswagen AG, where he conceived the design and branding for the Volkswagen Concept 1 -- a precursor to the new Beetle.
Under management moves announced last week, Mays will report to President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Padilla.
Mays overseas Ford, Mercury, Lincoln and Mazda designs, as well as the automaker's European luxury brands -- Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.