29th May 2018; Bridgend – Internationally renowned engineer Professor Richard Parry-Jones has been appointed Chairman of the Welsh Automotive Forum board of directors.
The Welsh-born former head of Ford’s global research and development headed 33,000 engineers and created the game-changing Mondeo and Focus models, and was instrumental in developing Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo cars when they were part of the company’s Premier Automotive Group. He was awarded the CBE for services to the Automotive Industry and Engineering Education in 2004.
Prof Parry-Jones chaired the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Advisory Group on Economy, Transport and Energy and until recently was the founder Chairman of the UK Automotive Council working with Original Equipment Manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers to promote investment and grow the UK automotive research and development and manufacturing. He still sits on the Council with a remit for electrification and was recently appointed Chairman of the UK Faraday Challenge Advisory Board to steer the country’s rapidly evolving battery technology and manufacturing market.
After leaving Ford in 2008 Prof Parry-Jones established his own company, RPJ Consulting, working with international blue-chip clients in the automotive, mobility, aerospace and energy sectors.
The Welsh Automotive Forum company represents 40 international businesses and over 100 other small and medium sized component suppliers with Welsh facilities, together employing about 18,000 people generating annual sales in excess of £3.2 Billion and a payroll above £500 Million annually.
Prof Parry-Jones succeeds the Board’s founder chairman, Prof Garel Rhys CBE who died in March 2017, and his first public engagement as Chairman of the WAF Board will be at the Autolink 2018 conference in Cardiff Stadium on 20 June, which will highlight local sourcing and competitiveness along with an exhibition by member companies.
Economy and Transport Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said, “The appointment of Professor Richard Parry-Jones is a huge bonus for Wales and indicative of the strength of the Automotive Sector in Wales. Professor Parry-Jones is a globally respected leader who will bring a huge amount of charisma, drive and experience to this key role.”
Tim Williams, WAF CEO said, “ We are extremely pleased that Richard accepted our invitation to Chair WAF. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding of the automotive industry, at a time when it is needed more than ever before, given the technical and legislative challenges that our sector faces. We very much look forward to working with Richard to deliver the best service that we can for our members and our economy.”