Sir Digby Jones, outgoing director-general of the CBI is to join Ford of Europe and the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) as a part-time corporate and governmental affairs advisor from 1 October 2006. He will provide Ford Motor Company’s operations in the UK and Europe with strategic input on global political, business and trade issues.
In his six-and-a-half years at the CBI, Sir Digby became well-known for his role as the leading ‘voice’ of British business. Announcing the appointment, Lewis Booth, executive vice president for Ford Motor Company overseeing Ford of Europe and PAG, said, ‘Sir Digby has a depth of knowledge, strategic mindset and an ability to communicate – qualities which are hard to beat in the business world. I believe his ability to instill passion and his wise counsel will be invaluable assets to Ford Motor Company’s management teams here in Europe, and I’m delighted Sir Digby is joining us.’
Sir Digby Jones said, ‘I’ve been a loyal Jaguar customer for years and as a born and bred Brummie, I am a passionate advocate of the British motor industry. It is hugely important to remember that Ford Motor Company is a vital part of our domestic motor industry. Ford has significant engineering and manufacturing presence in the UK in Essex, Bridgend and Southampton. And every Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin is designed, engineered and built in the UK. There are close to 35,000 employees and it is one of our biggest exporters. It also accounts for almost 80 per cent of all automotive R&D in Britain.
‘I am delighted to be joining a company that has shown such tremendous long-term commitment to the industrial, economic skills base of this country. And what excites me about Ford’s operations today is the focus on the future – its emphasis on hi-tech, premium, value-added products is spot on – and exactly what all successful businesses should be doing to ensure they remain globally competitive,’ said Sir Digby.
SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan welcomed the appointment, ‘Having someone of the calibre of Sir Digby Jones championing the motor industry is great news for Ford, and for everyone involved in motor manufacturing in the UK. He has been a staunch supporter of British industry during his tenure a the CBI and we look forward to working with him as he begins his new role.’