DETROIT — Henry Nickol, former Ford Motor Co. vice president of vehicle operations, died Feb. 27 in Pontiac, Mich. He was 88.
Nickol began his career at Ford in 1953 as a co-op student and moved through management positions in research, advanced engineering, emissions compliance and powertrain engineering.
Nickol's recommended vehicle designs improved the engine and brake cooling functions critical to Ford's win at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
As head of vehicle operations, his responsibilities included all Ford assembly and stamping plants in North America. Before that, he had responsibility for Ford North American engine, transmission and casting plants and their operations. Nickol retired from the automaker in 1994.