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Henry Ford’s Great-Granddaughter Gets New Job

PR Chief Day takes on broader role.

by on Feb.15, 2013

Ford heir Elena Ford gets one of two big promotions approved by Ford Motor board.

Two familiar names have been promoted by the Ford Motor Co. board of directors.

Elena Ford, great-granddaughter of the company’s founder, was tapped to serve as vice president leader of the company’s new Global Dealer and Consumer Experience organization,  while Ray Day, a familiar figure to journalists following the company, was named group vice president of communications. He has led the Communications team as its vice president for the past five years. Both appointments are effective on March 1.

Day, who continues to report to Ford chief operating officer Mark Fields, remains responsible for the company’s global external and internal communications and public relations activities. His role includes building Ford’s reputation globally and leading communications efforts aimed at reach customers, employees, dealers, suppliers, news media, communities, governments and policy-makers.

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“Ray Day is a proven global leader who continues to take the company’s communications capabilities and the telling of our Ford story to increasingly higher levels,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “Ray and his team are ensuring that everyone associated with Ford understands our One Ford plan and the progress we are making delivering profitable growth.”


Elena Ford Given Probation in DUI Incident

by on Apr.21, 2011

Ford heir Elena Ford given probation following a drunk driving arrest in suburban Detroit.

Ford family heir and Ford Motor Co. executive Elena Ford pleaded guilty in a Michigan District Court in connection with a recent incident where she was stopped by police after running over the center median in a Detroit suburb and then found to be under the influence of alcohol.  Complicating the situation, Ford had a child in the vehicle at the time of her arrest.

The 44-year suburban Detroit resident was visibly shaken and choking back tears as a judge placed her on 24 months probation, fined her $1,518 and ordered Ford to perform 240 hours of community service.

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While under probation she will be screened for drug and alcohol use and could be jailed for up to 93 days should she not meet the terms of that probation.  Meanwhile, a second offense involving a child could result in a felony conviction and a prison sentence of up to five years.

“Being here today is something I’ve never experienced, nor will I likely experience today,” a somber Ford told the judge.  “It’s a complete embarrassment to my family –especially to my son,” she said, tears welling up, “And I can’t tell you how sorry I am this happened.


Ford Heiress, Auto Exec Elena Ford Facing Charges

Arrested for drunken driving.

by on Apr.05, 2011

Facing charges, Elena Ford.

Ford executive – and family heiress – Elena Ford is facing a series of charges after being arrested Sunday night.

The 44-year-old great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford was taken into custody after her car jumped a curb and police determined she was intoxicated.  She was charged with child endangerment, as well as drunken driving, because she had youngsters in the vehicle when police arrived.

Describing the incident as a “personal matter,” a Ford Motor Co. spokesperson referred calls to Elena Ford’s lawyer.  He, in turn, said the executive would comment “at the appropriate time.”

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Other than Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr., Elena Ford is the most prominent family member still working for the 108-year-old automaker.  She is the daughter of Charlotte Ford – herself the child of Henry Ford II – and Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos, and switched her name to Ford before joining the family company in 1995.

With a degree from New York University, Elena Ford started out as a truck advertising specialist with the Ford Division but has since worked through a variety of positions within the company.  Her current position is with Ford Motor Credit, where she heads global brand and marketing operations.


Surprise Car of Year Winner

You’d never guess what. It is, perhaps, a dubious distinction.

by on Dec.11, 2009

The real collectors car from 1957?

The real collectors car from 1957?

Last night the Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC) at the Detroit Public Library gathered to announce this year’s winner of the Future Collectible Car of the Year award.

In this season of almost daily COTY/TOTY/VOTY awards, the NAHC award, though largely ignored by the conventional media, stands out.

The award is based on the fact that the ugly duckling of the 1957 Model Year, Chevrolet, became over the years, the surprise go-to car for collectors. Who would have thought? In 1957, both Ford and especially Plymouth had all new cars and the Chevy was warmed over from 1955 and 1956 models, although with crisper lines and tail fins. So the NAHC award reminds us all how hard it is to predict the future.

Past winners of the FCCOY award have included the reborn Ford Thunderbird of the new Millennium (likely) and the Olds Aurora (we will see).



The vehicles are chosen from a list of models declared to be “new” each year by the Consumer Reports annual auto issue. Ballots are filled out by the members of the Friends of the NAHC to designate which vehicle is most likely to be the top collectible 25 years in the future, and in the past have tended to favor Chrysler products. (If you want to vote in the future, you will have to kick in $40 annually to the Friends.)