Few know performance and racing like Jost Capito. The speed-obsessed auto exec started out developing high-performance engines for BMW, then headed the motorsport department at Porsche before taking up senior management positions with the Sauber Formula One team.
He also won the Dakar rally as a co-pilot, but his most recent post has been with Ford. There he oversaw the amalgamation of the company's global performance divisions – including SVT in the States and RS in the UK – and ushered such vehicles as the SVT Raptor, Focus RS, new Fiesta ST and the Shelby GT500 into production, all the while managing Ford's effort in the World Rally Championship.

The Ford chapter in Capito's considerable career, however, is drawing to a close as Dearborn has announced his departure and Wolfsburg his arrival. Effective May 1, Capito will be heading up Volkswagen Motorsport, taking over for Kris Nissen, who managed the back-to-back-to-back victories Volkswagen took at Dakar.

In his new capacity, Capito will presumably be running the company's new WRC effort, but we wouldn't mind seeing his footprint on the next generation of GTI and R models, either. Look below for the official announcement.
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JOST CAPITO TO HEAD VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT

Wolfsburg, March 29, 2012 – Jost Capito (53) is to head Volkswagen Motorsport effective May 1, 2012. He takes over from Kris Nissen (51), who will support his successor during the transition phase and subsequently assist the Group in an advisory capacity.

Jost Capito moves to the Volkswagen Group from Ford Motor Company USA. He has decades of experience in motorsport; among other things, he was involved in Formula 1 and was also co-pilot and winner in the truck category of the Paris-Dakar Rally. The engineering graduate began his career in 1984 as a development engineer for BMW's high-performance engines. Capito joined Porsche in 1989, first heading the Porsche Carrera Cup Organisation and later overseeing all Porsche brand racing championship campaigns. He held executive posts at Sauber Petronas Engineering from 1996 to 2001 and was Chief Operating Officer of the Sauber Red Bull Formula 1 team from 1998. Capito moved to Ford at the end of 2001 where he latterly held responsibility for Ford's global performance vehicle business and for motorsports strategy.

Kris Nissen (51) has been Director of Volkswagen Motorsport since 2003 and won important motorsport victories for Volkswagen during his tenure. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for 'Development', thanked Nissen for his achievements: "Mr. Nissen has taken Volkswagen Motorsport a long way forward and led the Motorsport team during the most successful phase in its history so far. He was instrumental in Volkswagen's double victory at the 2009 Dakar Rally and helped write motorsport history with the one-two-three podium finishes in 2010 and 2011."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh man, too bad for Ford, but great news for VW. Good luck Mr Capito. I was hoping you'd be around for a new Ford GT to happen.
      akarmahitmydogma
      • 2 Years Ago
      is he taking vanna white with him?
      Mark
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoever replace him listen up - we need a new Lightning. I know the current platform is just too heavy, but work it into the long term plans for the F150 line.
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mark
        The Ford SVT Raptor is better than the Lightening
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          I'll wait until a manual trans is available again.....
          jtav2002
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          How is it "better" than the Lightning? Its apples to oranges they have completely different purposes. That's like saying the Ram SRT10 was better than the Power Wagon. Yea, if you wanted to go fast and not off road.
          Young
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          And the GT500 is better than both!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          [blocked]
          Josh
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          The SVT is the best truck on the market (I'm actually a Chevy fan-boy). If you want a fast vehicle, don't buy a truck. Simple as that.
      zanarditypes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Used to run an F1 team? Now heading to VW, in charge of motorsports, just as F1 is changing its engine rules, making it appealing to more manufacturers? Hmm...
      Mitchell J. Mattice
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe Jamal Hameedi will take over the reigns? I agree. This sux for Ford. Oh well, that how it goes in the auto biz.
      Classic_Engr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like his predecessor John Coletti, Jost was deemed "too independently spirited" for Ford's culture. I alway find it amusing when big companies encourage a great guy like Capito to "think outside of the box", only to staple him down to the cubicle-grey carpeting once he's gained any momentum and respect internally. Any heiarchy of insecure MBA incompetents isso easily threatened by a true winner with real technical knowhow. In other words, "We said think outside the box, but not outside OUR box, Jost." Good luck to him, although I doubt he needs it.
      adika3z
      • 2 Years Ago
      ford and VW automakers are not good designs, weak bodys, 2 weak bumpers, wrong gas in hole on right passage side, in america left side driver on right side gas is not good, in german and foreign on right side driver on right side gas is good, some not good,
        johnb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @adika3z
        dunno, but my Ford has left side gas. and it doesn't need no stinkin gas cap either.
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the guy who single-handedly is to blame for Ford's choice of FWD on the Focus RS and SVT. In his opinion the "90% of customers won't know the difference" and he's an AWD hater. Good riddance!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        [blocked]
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          It's called having an opinion and not agreeing with the current product strategy.
        AcidTonic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        In his opinion "90% (typo)
      ranm856
      • 2 Years Ago
      See the USA in a Chevy ....oh ya and while im here...God bless President Obama ...Obama 2012
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      S
      • 2 Years Ago
      He was probably has been trying to settle a warranty issue with them too. Read my current experience http://henryfordwhereareyou.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/ford-doesnt-honor-warranties/
      masteraq
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW has been poaching from Ford Europe for a while. Word has it that they hired the suspension design team from the original Focus to design the independent rear suspension in the mk5 Golf/GTI.
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