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Ford's goal of designing products to be sold both Stateside and abroad could finally include some of its hottest European offerings with the appointment of Jost Capito to the newly-created position of director of global performance vehicles and motorsports business development.

While we've had to adore models like the Focus RS from abroad, Capito's new gig overseeing and consolidating both the North American Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and the European TeamRS means that crosspollination between the two performance brands is assured.

Capito -- a Dakar Rally veteran and former engineer for BMW and Porsche -- has been with Ford of Europe since October of 2001, and managed Ford's European motorsport and performance vehicle programs from 2003 through 2007. During that time, he was instrumental in Ford's WRC campaign and helped to bring the Fiesta ST, Focus ST and Focus RS to market. Capito will be moving from the UK to Dearborn, Michigan before he takes the reigns in January next year, and we're hoping to secure some time with the new exec to hear his plans for the future of Ford's performance products.

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PRESS RELEASE

FORD ANNOUNCES SENIOR MANAGEMENT CHANGES TO STRENGTHEN GLOBAL PERFORMANCE VEHICLES STRATEGY
  • Jost Capito is appointed Director, Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development
  • Jost will be based in Dearborn, USA, and will report to Hermann Salenbauch, Director Advanced Product Creation and Performance Vehicles, and Brian Wolfe , Director North America Motor Sports
  • Ford's North American Special Vehicle Team (SVT) led by Jamal Hameedi, Chief Nameplate Engineer, and Kerry Baldori, Chief Functional Engineer will report to Capito in his new role
  • Ford of Europe's performance vehicle operations will be managed by Dirk Densing, who will continue to be based in Cologne, Germany, and report to Capito and, depending on vehicle, the relevant Vehicle Line Director based in Cologne
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 4 – Ford Motor Company is strengthening its commitment to performance vehicles by appointing Jost Capito to the newly-created position of Director, Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Business Development. Jost will take up his new position in January 2009.

In his new role, Capito will be responsible for the global development of Ford's performance vehicles business. The North American SVT and European TeamRS performance vehicle organizations will come together, both reporting to Capito, to focus on the development of global performance vehicles, and the implementation of consistent vehicle attributes and DNA in future Ford performance models.

Additionally, Capito will assume responsibility for global motorsport business strategy and aligning Ford's global motorsport plans and programs. He will lead the development of motorsport opportunities for Ford's future global car products around the world, advising and working closely with the company's regional Motorsports directors.

Jost Capito joined Ford of Europe in October 2001 as director of Special Vehicle Engineering. Between 2003 and 2007, he assumed responsibility for Ford of Europe's motorsport and performance vehicle programs, leading the company's successful World Rally Championship efforts and winning Manufacturers' Championship titles for the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally team in 2006 and 2007. In November 2007, Capito was appointed Vehicle Line Director for Ford of Europe's Performance Vehicles, and since then has led the development of the eagerly-awaited new Focus RS road car which will be launched in Europe in the first quarter of 2009. He was also responsible for European Fiesta ST and Focus ST performance models.

Jost Capito is 50 years old, and currently lives with his family in the UK. In his new position, he will relocate to Ford's World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

"Performance vehicles and motorsport have been important to Ford since the company was founded more than a century ago. With Jost's immense experience in both areas, performance vehicles and motorsport, we expect that tradition to continue and be strengthened within our One Ford strategy," said Hermann Salenbauch, Director of Advanced Product Creation and Performance Vehicles, Ford Motor Company.