FORD MOTOR CO. - Designer Graham Symonds is downsizing.
After nine years at Ford Motor Co.'s design studios in Dearborn, Mich., where he was responsible for several light-truck vehicles, Symonds has been appointed assistant director of design at the small- and medium-sized vehicle center in Dunton, England.
During his nine years in Dearborn, the 61-year-old Symonds worked on the F-150/F-250 series - the world's best-selling light truck - and the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition sport-utilities. More recently, he was responsible for the design of the new Transit van.
'Although my background is in trucks, I was lucky to be part of one of the most successful teams in the U.S. in this sector,' Symonds said in a telephone interview.
'Hopefully I can bring some of that team play into my new job. I am certainly looking forward to the new challenge in Europe, where a lot is happening in the small and medium sector with products such as Focus, Ka, Puma and Fiesta.'
Born in the United Kingdom, Symonds studied at the Coventry School of Art and Design before joining Armstrong Siddeley aircraft division. He also worked for Massey Ferguson Co. Ltd., the former Canadian tractor maker.
He moved into automotive design with the Chrysler Rootes Group before joining Ford Werke AG in Cologne, Germany, as design manager in 1967. He moved to Dunton in 1970, and was promoted to chief designer in 1986 covering small-, medium- and large-class cars.
Symonds competed in swimming at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, and represented Great Britain in various international competitions for eight years. He says he will miss the wealth of golf courses in Michigan - where he has won five state Master's events in recent years.
TENNEX EUROPE - London-based Tennex Europe has realigned its management team ahead of the opening of its technical center. Piers Catton, 41, was named technical director. Previously general manager at Tennex's injection molding plant in High Wycombe, England, Catton has been with the company for almost three years. Dave Lambert, 33, joins as operations manager with a background in the automotive industry. His experience includes production engineering, sales and commercial management and operations management at Federal Mogul Corp. Neil Penny, 39, was named logistics manager.
DUPONT AUTOMOTIVE FINISHES - DuPont Refinish, a unit of DuPont Automotive Finishes based in Hemel Hempstead, England, has named Chris Vickers corporate accounts manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Vickers previously was the company's marketing manager for Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. He will lead a team of five that will concentrate on group accounts, the original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket areas, as well as the fleet, lease and insurance sectors. He will be succeeded in the marketing post by Graham Parker.
COOKSON GROUP - Anthony Picone has been appointed CFO of Cookson's specialty and industrial materials sector. He comes to Cookson from BTR PLC, where he most recently was president of Elmwood Sensors Inc., a BTR subsidiary, and spent six years as vice president for finance of BTR's Sensors Systems Group, both in Pawtucket, R.I. London-based Cookson Group is a $3.2 billion a year supplier that operates in 60 countries through three business divisions - electronics, ceramics and engineering.
SUZUKI GREAT BRITAIN - John Norman, chief executive of Suzuki Great Britain from 1985-97 and director and senior adviser for the past year, said he has decided to step aside from day-to-day management to pursue other interests. He joined Suzuki in 1979 after career stops at Raleigh TI Industries, European Honda GmbH, Honda U.K., BMW G.B. and Kawasaki Motors U.K.
CITROEN UK LTD. - Olivier Pittet has been appointed managing director of Citroen UK Ltd., replacing Claude Gobenceaux, who has been promoted within the PSA/Peugeot-Citroen group. Pittet, 41, has been commercial sales manager for Europe at Automobiles Citroen headquarters in Paris. His career has included 12 years with Ford and four years as national sales manager for Fiat Auto in France. He joined Citroen in 1996.
BMW - Graham Biggs has been appointed media relations manager at BMW (GB) Ltd. Biggs, who moves from a similar position at Nissan U.K., fills a position that had been open for several months.
NUMMI - Toyota Motor Corp. named Kanji Ishii president of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., its Fremont, Calif.-based joint venture with General Motors. He succeeds Iwao Itoh, who returns to an unspecified post at the parent company in Japan after heading NUMMI since 1993.
Ishii, 54, had been general manager of Toyota's Overseas Project Division since 1997. Previously, he was head of the Europe and Africa Planning Division at headquarters in Japan, and production control boss at Toyota's British plant in Burnaston, England.
On his watch, the 56-year-old Itoh expanded NUMMI capacity after successfully petitioning the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to withdraw its original order setting a 12-year time limit on the joint venture. He added a plastics plant in 1994, expanded the stamping plant in 1996 and began work on a new paint shop due to be completed this year.
The venture, with a capacity of more than 350,000 cars and light trucks a year, produces the Toyota Tacoma pickup and the Toyota Corolla/Chevrolet Prizm sedans.
GM OF CANADA LTD. - William Pettipas, newly appointed vice president of General Motors of Canada Ltd. and executive director of the London, Ontario-based Diesel Division, says even locomotives and light armored vehicles have to become more environmentally friendly. That will be one of the big technological challenges he and his designers face in the future, he said.
The division produces locomotives and eight-wheeled light armored vehicles with customers in about 70 countries, and a work force of 3,000.
'The outlook for armored vehicles is good, despite cuts in defense budgets. The world hasn't really settled down,' Pettipas said. The market for locomotives also continues healthy, he said.
Pettipas, who was born in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, replaces William Kienapple, who has retired. Pettipas joined the division in 1983 after a career in the Canadian armed forces, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
TRW INC. - Ronald Vargo has been named vice president and treasurer at TRW Inc., reporting to CFO Carl Miller. Vargo joined TRW in 1991, and has been vice president of planning and development for the Automotive Electronics group since 1994. He succeeds Jeanne Sydenstricker, who has been appointed vice president and chief information officer for TRW Automotive.
BOSAL USA - Daniel Brown has been promoted to national sales manager for aftermarket and performance products, from product manager. Bosal, based in Whip-pany, N.J., develops and man-ufactures exhaust systems and catalytic converters for original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket use worldwide. It operates 31 plants and 55 distribution centers worldwide.
ADESA CORP. - Indianapolis-based auto auctioneer Adesa Corp. has appointed Brian Warner president of its Canadian operations, which operates wholesale auto auctions in Montreal; Ottawa; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Moncton, New Brunswick; and PAR Canada, a vehicle remarketing company. Warner, a certified public accountant, previously served as Adesa's corporate controller, CFO and, most recently, as general manager of the Indianapolis auction, one of the company's largest. Adesa operates 28 auctions in the United States and Canada.
BORG-WARNER AUTOMOTIVE - John (Jack) Kalina has joined the Chicago-based company as vice president and chief information officer, and Timothy Manganello has been named a vice president.
Kalina, 53, joins the company from IBM. His new position was created to help the company achieve its growth objectives. Kalina's background includes the position of chief information officer at Walbro Corp. and Robert Bosch Corp.
Manganello, 49, recently was named president and general manager of the company's Powertrain Systems operating group. A 10-year veteran of Borg-Warner Automotive, he previously served as vice president of operations of Powertrain's Muncie, Ind., facility.
Borg-Warner Automotive operates manufacturing facilities in 12 countries serving North America, Europe and Asia.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER - Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc. named Ronald Elder vice president of finance and controller. He will report to CEO Mike Jackson and will join the executive management committee.
Elder previously served as director of manufacturing group accounting for the former Chrysler Corp. in Auburn Hills, Mich., as vice president and CFO for the rental car subsidiary Pentastar Transportation Group. He joined the corporation in 1986.
Elder succeeds Wilfried Steffen, who will become president of Mercedes-Benz (Switzerland) at the end of the summer. In the interim, he will continue as coordinator of DaimlerChrysler's global sales and marketing integration team.
FEDERAL MOGUL CORP. - Ben James has been named director of business development for Sintered Products. James, who will report to Chris Note, vice president of Sintered Products, assumes responsibility for acquisitions and business joint ventures on behalf of the subsidiary. James previously held the position of managing director for Sintered Products' North America operations. He joined the company in Coventry, England, in 1972.
HYUNDAI MOTOR FINANCE - C.W. (Bill) Thaxton joins Hyundai Motor Finance Co., based in Fountain Valley, Calif., as president and CEO. He was senior vice president at WFS Financial.