NAPLES, Fla. -- Gordon MacKenzie, former vice president of Ford Motor Co. who twice was head of sales at Ford of Europe, died Sunday. He was 90.
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, MacKenzie began his automotive career with jobs at Packard Motor Car Co. and Willys Overland, his family said, before joining Ford in 1954 as an analyst.
He held managerial positions in dealer development and district sales. Then, in 1964, soon after the Ford Mustang was launched, he was named general sales manager of Ford division. Ford sold 1 million Mustangs in the car's first 24 months. MacKenzie was general marketing manager for the division from 1968 to 1970, then general sales manager again until 1973.
That year, he was named vice president of sales at Ford of Europe, where he was responsible for the successful marketing launch of the Ford Fiesta. He was elected a vice president of Ford Motor in 1973.
He returned to the United States as vice president of sales operations for Ford North American Automotive Operations and in 1980 was named general manager of Lincoln-Mercury Division.
A few years later, he returned to Europe for a second time as vice president of sales. He retired from Ford Motor in 1986.
In a 2003 interview with Automotive News for a special edition celebrating Ford's 100th anniversary, MacKenzie talked about his first stint at Ford of Europe:
"1974 was a very, very difficult year because of the oil crisis.
"The next year we made a billion and a half. That was fun.
"We really went at the whole thing as a team, not as individuals. We didn't have any functional lines going back to America. We ran our own store. It was a wonderful time."
The MacKenzie family has said that memorial contributions in honor of MacKenzie may be made to the Founders Fund at The Club at Pelican Bay, 707 Gulf Park Drive, Naples, Fla. 34108.