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17 November 2009 | PR 09/160

Loughborough Pro Chancellor leads Government council to save Britain’s car manufacturing industry

Richard Parry-Jones

Loughborough University's Pro Chancellor Richard Parry-Jones

Richard Parry-Jones, who is a Pro Chancellor and Visiting Professor in Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University, has been appointed to lead a new Government council, established to address the long term strategic challenges facing the UK car industry.

Professor Parry-Jones, who is the former vice-president of product development at Ford, will co-chair the Automotive Council with the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson. The council will enable Government and industry to work together on the long term strategic development of the sector.

The move is part of the Government’s response to the wide ranging recommendations made in a report from the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) published earlier this year, setting out its 20-year vision for the automotive industry.

Through areas such as innovation and high-skilled job creation, the automotive sector will be driving the UK’s economic growth. With the industry at a technological turning point in radically reducing carbon emissions, investment now will be critical to its success.

To ensure that the UK’s car industry can build on its strengths and develop the new capabilities needed to compete in a competitive global market, the Council will have an important strategic role in helping to achieve these goals.

Of his appointment, Professor Parry-Jones said: “I’m delighted to co-chair the Automotive Council and take forward the long term strategic agenda laid out in the NAIGT report. The UK must raise its game to compete for international investment in automotive R&D and manufacturing.

“To do that, the UK’s car manufacturers need an ever more strategic, collaborative relationship with the Government and to be working with the supply chain and other stakeholders to achieve long term goals. I want the Council to make that happen.”

Richard Parry-Jones joined Ford in 1969 as a trainee and earned a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Salford University before spending nearly 30 years at the carmaker, with spells in a variety of senior R&D and manufacturing posts in England, Germany and America.

Between 1994 and 1998 he was vice-president of the product development group, during which time he led development of models including the Focus, Ka, Fiesta and Puma. He was promoted to group-vice president in 1998 before being appointed chief technical officer in 2001, resigning in 2007.

He was appointed as a Visiting Professor within Loughborough’s Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering in 2001. He took up the role of Pro-Chancellor two years later.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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