• Mark Deans is appointed Motorsport Director, Ford of Europe
  • New position will report to Stephen Odell, Vice President of Marketing, Sales & Service and to Ian Slater, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs
  • Jost Capito is appointed to the new role of Vehicle Line Director for Ford Performance Vehicles within the company’s Product Development organisation

COLOGNE, GERMANY, November 14, 2007 – Ford of Europe is strengthening its commitment to both Motorsport and performance vehicles by appointing Mark Deans to the newly-created position of Motorsport Director.  At the same time, Jost Capito is appointed to another new position of Vehicle Line Director for Ford Performance Vehicles within Ford of Europe’s Product Development team.

New Motorsport Director
In his new role, Mark Deans will work alongside Malcolm Wilson, BP-Ford Team Director and owner of M-Sport, Ford’s partner for its main motorsport activity, the FIA World Rally Championship.  Deans will be the focal point through which Ford will continue to support M-Sport and drive future success for the BP Ford World Rally Team, most obviously via close ties with the company’s Product Development and engineering disciplines.

Deans will also be responsible for developing further the effective marketing of Ford’s WRC and other motorsport activities such as Formula Ford, in particular through extended advertising, sales promotion, sponsorship and merchandising programmes.  It is for this reason that Deans will report directly to Stephen Odell, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service, and to Ian Slater, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Ford of Europe.

Deans is no stranger to Ford’s motorsport activities, as he was Manager of European Motorsport Programmes between 1985 and 1989 based at Boreham, the company’s former rallying HQ.  In that role, he ran Ford’s involvement in many National Race and Rally programmes and had direct contact with Malcolm Wilson when he was Boreham’s World Rally Championship test driver, as well as other great rally drivers like Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol, Stig Blomqvist and the late Mark Lovell.

Since 1998, Mark Deans has been a senior member of Ford of Britain’s Sales and Marketing team, managing the initial launch of the Focus into the UK market in 1998, and developing the highly successful conquest of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with the Rapid Fit Ford Mondeos in 2000.

Most recently, Deans has been Regional Director, UK Southern Region, where he has made a significant contribution to maintaining the company’s 32-year market leadership position in Britain.

“We’re delighted to welcome Mark Deans back to the Ford Motorsport management team, and in his new position he will play a major role in pulling together even closer the various parties involved in our WRC programme – M-Sport, Ford’s own engineering and marketing teams, and our valued sponsors BP and the Abu Dhabi Tourist Authority, who are vital to the team’s continued success,” said John Fleming, Ford of Europe’s President and CEO.

Mark Deans is 50 years old, and currently lives with his partner in Bristol, but will relocate to Essex in his new position.

New focus on Performance Vehicles
The appointment of Jost Capito as Vehicle Line Director for Ford Performance Vehicles within the company’s Product Development organization is a significant one as it marks a major commitment to the development of future performance derivatives of Ford models.

“We’re very serious about increasing the emotional appeal of Ford’s new models started with our latest ‘kinetic design’ vehicles like the Mondeo and S-MAX,” explained Fleming.  “Taking this further will mean the development of exciting new performance derivatives of our mainstream models for the future.”

Until now, Ford of Europe has had four Vehicle Line Directors — one each for B-Cars like the Fiesta, for C-Cars like the Focus, for C/D-Cars like the new Mondeo, and one for Transit and other Ford commercial vehicles. Now, for the first time, Ford Performance Vehicles will have their own Vehicle Line Director.

In this role, Jost Capito will report to Ford of Europe’s Vice President of Product Development, Joe Bakaj.  He will have greater authority in terms of product creation working closely with the Design team, as well as increasingly important areas such as Vehicle Personalisation and special vehicle projects.

Capito will continue the traditions of Ford Team RS, which will remain as a secondary Ford brand, to deliver new generations of mainstream performance vehicles.  He will work very closely with Mark Deans in his new role, and both will be based at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, UK.

“The BP-Ford World Rally team is enjoying another successful season in WRC having won the Manufacturers’ title last year, and we are still in strong contention for both of the titles this year,” said Fleming.  “These new appointments will send a signal that we are seriously committed to continuing that success, and that we are developing plans to take our motorsport programme even further, plus strengthen the links between our competition vehicles and performance road vehicles.”