Jim Farley is a “car guy”. That is how Ford’s executive chairman Bill Ford described the man who was this week named as new chief executive of the US car giant.
Mr Farley will need all his knowledge and love of cars to turn round the Detroit auto manufacturer, which struggled with flagging profitability, a falling share price and high debt during Jim Hackett’s three-year reign.
This time, the carmaker has chosen an insider, who owns and races vintage cars, for the top job after alternating between company veterans and industry outsiders for the past decade.
The grandson of a Ford employee, who became heir apparent in February when he was promoted to chief operating officer, is a contrast to Mr Hackett, an outsider who came from office furniture maker Steelcase.
The 58-year-old, born in Argentina and educated at Georgetown University and UCLA, has spent his life devoted to cars.
During his teenage years, he rebuilt car engines and went to work for Toyota after college where he held product and marketing positions, becoming group vice-president for the luxury Lexus brand.
In 2007, he joined Ford after being recruited by then-chief executive Alan Mulally. He ran the carmaker’s European