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Kuzak, Ross join roster

Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product guru, and Wilbur Ross, the turnaround financier, will be among the speakers at the 2008 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.

As group vice president for global product development, Kuzak is responsible for building the product portfolio that Ford Motor Co. needs to be healthy. He joined Ford in 1978 as a research engineer and eventually led development of the Ford Focus and Escape.

Kuzak was named vice president of North America engineering in August 2005 and signed off on all North American vehicles. He moved to his current position in December 2006.

Ross has built International Automotive Components Group, which he formed in 2005, into one of the world's largest automotive interiors suppliers with revenues of $5 billion and 21,000 employees in 17 countries.

In 2002, Ross organized International Steel Group, creating the largest integrated steel company in North America. Called the "king of bankruptcy" by Fortune magazine in 1998, he has restructured more than $200 billion in companies' defaulted assets.

Ross will speak Tuesday morning, Jan. 22, and Kuzak will speak Wednesday morning, Jan. 23. 

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