• Dec 4th 2008 at 4:15PM
  • 31
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Focus RS

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.


  • 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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      3 door fiesta rs will be my next car if it has a turbo and a LSD
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd rather have that Fiesta...than the one we're getting soon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What about the SVT Contour? Really nice all-around car. The Contour was based on the Ford Mondeo.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. I looked pretty hard for a good SVT contour when I bought my last car. My gf and I used to "borrow" her dad's svt in high school and I always felt like the car was on my side. By that I mean it always worked for the driver rather than against you. I think a car should do exactly what I tell it to do, when I tell it do it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Brilliant. An SVT badge might actually mean something other than just "it has a bigger V8" now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It might even mean "independent rear suspension" again too!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congratulations on your new job! First order of business, move from the UK to Dearborn...some signing bonus...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Focus RS for the states!!! I wish. If They do I will buy.
      However Its a safe bet we will end up with something stupid. So sad.... Ford makes some of the baddest cars for everyone but the US. How american to cock block their own people.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Let's be fair, the hot compact market was not underserved, there just wasnt much justification, and not much demand. Until video games and the internet took off, their wasnt much exposure to Euro models except for true enthusiasts and face it, we're not that big of a demographic.

        SUVs selling like hotcakes with tons of profit $$ per sale. Why focus (NPI) on compact class?

        I know Mercury has been somewhat successful with the woman-oriented thing but using Mercury as a Euro performance arm would have been awesome, Ford could have been bringing these over for a few years as a Mercury Tracer since the upgraded interiors and shipping costs would have brought the price over Ford selling levels.

        Cant blame them for being a little gunshy after teh failure of Merkur.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If only it was still 4wd...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Completely agree, especially if Ford wants to capitalize on it's WRC success (Manufacturers Champion last few years), not to mention compete with Mitsu Evo and Subaru STi.

        In the 90's, the cosworth siblings (Escort and Sierra) had all-wheel drive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not cracking my wallet until the Fiesta has some performance capabilities. I love they way it looks, and it gets praise for handling and road manners.....but it needs a little more power to make it come to life. No, I don't need 180 hp to be happy, but something more than 100-110 hp. Sheesh. Even the old Escort Zx2 had 130 hp! I feel the same way about the Mazda2. If it comes, I'll buy it, as long as it gets a little juice. Whichever car arrives here first, with a scrappy engine, will get my money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Yeah, because bringing European cars worked so well for Saturn ..."

      UMMMM.... When was the last time you saw an ad for one of these Saturn Astras???? GM as usual, doesn't know how to sell cars... Here is a story: I was looking at an Astra at the local mall, the kind of display that clogs baby-strollers... anyup, I went on to tell them (salesperson) how great it was to see these Opels over here... What a great step forward for GM and America... The 'salesperson' (guess the sex) didn't even know that it was an Opel.... "what's an Opel?" they asked... I left thinking.... That car is doomed....

      PS.... Thanks for giving them a 'bad' chance... The Astra is by far a better built car then anything that comes from the east.... Korea, Japan or China.....

      Still Ford of Europe is by far the best cars on the road..... They set the bar for all aspects of new cars... The Focus 1998-2004 was by far the best thing that company has done... Changed the way things are done!!!! JOB ONE....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finally! YES!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've been waiting for this announcement for years.... today is a beautiful day!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Any idea if these will be sold under the SVT moniker stateside?

      I don't know if "RS" means anything to the American consumer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Except Camaro and Impreza trim levels that no longer exist.

        Seriously though, if you put those screaming green, sizzling quick Foci on our streets, "RS Ford" would suddenly gain meaning in the U.S. in a big ol' hurry.
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