Fourth Annual 'Car Guy of the Year' Award Goes to Jacques Nasser
20 December 1999Fourth Annual 'Car Guy of the Year' Award Goes to Jacques Nasser
Award Committee Joins Salute via Live Internet Audio Announcement DETROIT, Dec. 20 -- Ford Motor Company president and Chief Executive Officer Jacques Nasser has been named The Car Guy's(TM) "Car Guy of the Year" for 1999 by a select group of automotive industry members, and was announced as this year's winner today by Robert A. Lutz, chairman and chief Executive officer of Exide Corp. and last year's "Car Guy of the Year." "It was a tough field this year but Jac Nasser clearly garnered most of the votes and we couldn't possibly come up with a bethoice," Lutz said. "He is one of the exceptional people in the industry because he is obviously a good business man and very good at running a corporation, but he has got that essential thread of passion for the product -- he loves them personally and he loves creating them," Lutz added. Today's live announcement of the honorary "Car Guy of the Year" for 1999 was made on a special segment of the Detroit-based automotive talk program "The Car Guy Show," distributed live to worldwide audiences on the Internet via digital audio at http://www.thecarguy.com and simultaneously broadcast on Detroit radio station WPON 1460. "While the auto industry and enthusiast world is filled with people who can relate to well-designed, well-engineered cars and cars that make profits, we created this award to require more of the winner," said Steve Ford, co-administrator of the "Car Guy of the Year" award and journalist/host of The Car Guy media outlets. "Many people who are attracted to cars can be described by various terms, such as car buffs, car nuts, car enthusiasts, motor heads and gear heads -- among other names," Ford said. "Yet what distinguishes a true 'car guy' in the industry is more than just 'liking cars.'" "Since I use 'The Car Guy' as a media by-line, this award is my annual salute to a role model in the car-world whom I can only aspire to emulate. And by bringing together a diverse group of my own automotive heroes each year, I have the privilege of helping salute their heroes, too," Ford added. Car Guy of the Year In an industry that often focuses its attention more on the financial and "hardware" aspects of the industry, The Car Guy's "Car Guy of the Year" award honors the warm camaraderie found among car people and salutes a person who has both a genuine affinity for automobiles and also has gained respect for achieving well-rounded contributions to the world of wheels. Award Criteria The "Car Guy of the Year" award committee's guidelines for determining the accomplishments, character and contributions of the annual award winner include a focus on the following key factors for nominations and the voting process: * Proven knowledge of both the auto industry and an equal level of understanding about the technical aspects of automobiles * Noteworthy recent or current contribution to the automobile community * Active and visible participation in the car enthusiast arena * Respect and admiration from peers * A genuine passion for cars Nasser Career Highlights "In addition to having a profile that includes speaking fluent English, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese, Jac Nasser speaks the most important language that any auto executive can understand: the language of a passion for cars that is respected by both consumers and enthusiasts alike -- easily earning him the title 'Car Guy of the Year' for 1999," Ford noted. As president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company, Nasser has all of the credentials that point to a natural rise to top-level management of a global automaker while continuing to embrace the equities that helped him in his ascension. In addition to active visibility as a judge and genuine car enthusiast attending Concours d' Elegance events, Nasser is a true "hands-on" industry executive with his own crash helmet he uses and always has on standby at one of the Ford Motor Company test tracks. Since 1968, Nasser has held increasingly responsible positions with Ford, starting with Ford of Australia as a financial analyst. In 1973 he came to the U.S. to join Ford's North American Truck Operations and the company's finance staff. Following a brief return to Australia as manager of profit analysis and product programming/timing, Nasser joined Ford's International Automotive Operations (IAO), and served tenures that included management of Asia-Pacific and Latin-American operations. His subsequent international assignments in the 1980s and 1990s included overseeing corporate joint ventures and successful management of multiple programs that led to his promotion to chairman of the board, Ford of Europe, to vice president in 1993; and to group vice president for product development in 1994. In 1996 Nasser became head of Ford Automotive Operations; and prior to his appointment as president and CEO of Ford Motor Company in 1999, he was executive vice president Ford Automotive Operations and chairman -- Ford of Europe. Award Committee For the 1999 "Car Guy of the Year" salute, the formal process of blind nominations, confidential committee conferences and a blind vote for the official title was handled by a committee comprised of automotive representatives with multi-faceted perspectives (alphabetically): Mario Andretti, international race car driver/OEM consultant; Bob Bondurant, president and founder of the Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving; Vic Edelbrock, president of Edelbrock Corporation; Steve Ford, host of The Car Guy Show and award co-administrator; Dick Guldstrand, race car driver, president of Guldstrand Engineering and 1997 Car Guy of the Year; Andy Granatelli, automotive industry/ aftermarket entrepreneur, race car driver/team owner; Chuck Jordan, former vice president of design for General Motors; John Lypen, editor of Motor magazine; Bob Lutz, chairman and CEO of Exide Corp. and 1998 Car Guy of the Year; Roy Miller, co-administrator of the award, automotive historian/Concours d' Elegance judge and specialty car shop owner; Lorraine Schultz, international CEO of the Women's Automotive Association and former director of the Auto Leather Guild of America; Bob Sinclair, automotive industry consultant, former president of Saab Cars USA and 1996 Car Guy of the Year; and Don Sommer, artist/owner of American Arrow and co-founder of the Meadow Brook Concours d' Elegance. The Car Guy Show is a consumer/enthusiast talk show hosted by Steve Ford and broadcast from Detroit, Mich., on radio station WPON 1460 AM as well as the archived digital audio programs on the Internet. Additional information about The Car Guy's "Car Guy of the Year" and a digital audio version of the award announcement program may be accessed beginning Dec. 22, 1999 at http://www.thecarguy.com (Jacques Nasser photograph also available at this site).