Retirement in the plans for Deans
Ford of Europe has announced that Gerard Quinn is appointed Senior Manager, Motorsport, replacing Mark Deans who has elected to retire from Ford at the end of this month.
In his new position, Quinn will work alongside Malcolm Wilson,
the Ford World Rally Team Director and owner of M-Sport, Ford of Europe's partner for its main motorsport activity in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Quinn will be the focal point through which Ford will continue to support M-Sport and drive future success for the Ford World Rally Team, most obviously via close ties with the company's global Product Development and engineering disciplines.
Quinn will also be responsible for a small team of marketing professionals and product development engineers to develop further the company's motorsport strategy in Europe. He will work closely with the Communications and Public Affairs team, as well as other key Ford of Europe staffs.
A self-confessed 'petrol head', 45-year-old Gerard Quinn joined Ford in 1988 at the company's Dagenham plant in Britain, and progressed through a number of management positions before being appointed to his previous role of Dealer Operations Manager for Ford of Ireland in June 2008.
Quinn has gained experience on Ford's motorsport activities in his previous roles and, before joining Ford, he was already very active in the organisational side of grass roots motorsport in his home town through the Cork Motor Club.
Between 2005 and 2008, he was directly responsible for the commercial and contractual aspects of Ford of Europe's motorsport strategy, including the relationship with M-Sport. He also had a significant involvement in Ford of Europe's performance vehicle business, notably the development programme for the new Ford Focus RS.
In his new role, Quinn will report directly to Ingvar Sviggum, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service and to Ian Slater, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Ford of Europe.
"We're very pleased to have Gerard Quinn leading our Motorsport programmes in Europe," said Sviggum. "He has a wealth of experience inside Ford having worked his way along the ladder of opportunity to become a valued member of the management team. He knows Malcolm Wilson and the M-Sport team well, and his understanding of both the motorsport business and our corporate strategy is precisely what we need during this difficult economic period."
52-year-old Mark Deans, who has been Ford of Europe's Motorsport Director since November 2007, has elected to retire from the company to pursue personal projects.
"Mark has been a great asset to the Ford Motorsport management team over the last 18 months," said Sviggum. "He has helped to keep our WRC activity running through the industry crisis, and delivered an impressive one-two victory with the team in the most recent rally in Sardinia."
"We're grateful for Mark's commitment and dedication to the company during his 29-year career with Ford, and we wish him and his family all the very best for the future," Sviggum stated.
The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship is the Acropolis Rally in Greece on June 11-14, and Gerard Quinn is looking forward to his first event as head of the team, although he is no stranger to the WRC.
"I'm excited at the prospect of joining the M-Sport team in Greece," Quinn said. "I have a good relationship already with Malcolm Wilson, and I'll be looking forward to seeing the drivers again. We're relying on them to deliver more success there with the Focus RS WRC."