• Jul 12th 2010 at 9:27AM
  • 12
2012 Ford Focus – Click above for high-res image gallery

Jens Ludmann, the German engineer in Ford's European arm who led the development of the S-Max, Mondeo and 2012 Focus, is departing the automaker after a successful 10-year run. Where to? He's leaving the Blue Oval to join the deep blue sea, taking over as CEO of Bavaria Yachtbau, a German builder of sailing and motor yachts.

While his industry and title will change, the aim of his job won't: turn compelling ideas into profitable products. Having done that with three of Ford's best known vehicles in just ten years, Bavaria Yachtbau could have made a great score, and Ford has a massive gap to fill.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess that means he's refocusing on other opportunities.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Someone should throw him a Fiesta.
        • 5 Years Ago
        He probably has a Ford Escape.
      • 5 Years Ago
      He is going to Rolls?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the Focus and will be buying one, but those photos are horrible. Obviously taken from far away with a telephoto lens, the lack of wide angle perspective makes them look like engineering images. OK in the context of "images from the reveal" but not a good choice for the article IMO.

      That being I wish him the best. Bang up job at Ford, but I'm guessing his new post comes with some hefty benefits.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This looks like the next generation Dodge Caliber to me, or at least what the next gen should look like, IMO. Nice looking vehicle regardless of make, I look forward to seeing it in the flesh, so to speak.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You hate to lose talent like this. His resume is very impressive, probably why the boat builders wanted him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OT - I wonder if the Focus would make a good replacement for a early 2000's "mid sized" car. Seems like it might be similar sized, but I cannot find 2012 specifications.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Depends on what you want it for. If you want to put adults in the backseat for an extended period of time, it's too small. If you want a safe car for two people and their stuff (or two people and a kid or two and their stuff), it's fine.

        It's gotten bigger, but there's still a sizeable difference between it and an early 2000's midsize in the backseat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What an interesting time to take over Bavaria Yachtbau.

      "Venture capitalist, Bain Capital has been forced to sell Bavaria Yachtbau for a loss of 300 million Euros, according to reports in the financial press.

      The company's 1.3 billion Euro gamble in 2007 included 900 million raised from two investment banks, which have also suffered huge losses on the resale.

      So-called 'distressed debt' investors US-based Oaktree Capital Management and Anchorage Advisors are set to acquire Bain's debt for around 30% of its original value."

      • 5 Years Ago
      While it's always tough to lose good talent in cases like this there is always someone ready to step in. It also should be noted that no one achieves greatness alone and unless he is taking everyone with him who worked on the car I'm sure they'll be fine.

      He is not being tapped by the yacht builder for his engineering expertise anyways. He is attractive to them for his ability to lead and manage a group that can achieve a goal. It's like a reverse Mullaly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think they put larger diameter wheels on the back and that's destroying the perspective in those shots.

      Larger rear wheels is great for dragsters and HotWheels, but pretty dumb on a street car, especially one that's FWD. I can't wait till this trend goes away.