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Old 12-11-2004, 23:14   #1 (permalink)
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US:J Mays heads to London

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


Mays

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.
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Old 12-17-2004, 06:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:J Mays heads to London

Ford design chief J Mays moving to London, will focus on Premier Automotive Group brands

AMY WILSON | Automotive News and BRADFORD WERNLE | Automotive News Europe

J Mays, Ford Motor Co.'s group vice president of design, will move to London and add a title: chief creative officer.

The move will allow Mays to focus on design at Ford's Premier Automotive Group brands: Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo and to monitor design at Ford of Europe.

Mays, 50, works at Ford's Dearborn, Mich., headquarters. He says he is not taking a lesser role in the company's design management.

"They're going to let me spend a couple of years in London, which is something I've been pushing hard," Mays says.

Mays will work at Ford's office in London's Soho district, the site of the company's former Ingeni studio. The advanced design studio closed last year, and the designers there returned to the various Ford brands. PAG Chairman Mark Fields still has offices there.

Peter Horbury, former Volvo design chief, will remain in charge of North American design while Martin Smith will run Ford's European design operations.

Mays' new job will enable him to work more closely with designers Ian Callum at Jaguar and Geoff Upex at Land Rover.

He also will focus on Volvo, which is without a chief designer after the departure of Henrik Otto this year. Mays says he has found a replacement for Otto but isn't ready to say who it is.

Mays says he will spend about 10 days a month in Dearborn. For the last 18 months, he says he has spent 10 days to two weeks out of each month in London.

"What we're doing is trying to work on the next decade of design direction for each of the individual brands," he says.

Mays says it was his idea to move to the United Kingdom.

London is "ground zero for media creativity," he says.

He says he is putting together a team of about five "strategic thinkers" to help him in London. Some are with the company and some are not. He won't say who the individuals are.
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