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03 June

Western Group of Motoring Writers' PR Driving Day at Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham (by invitation only)


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Holmes downhill ambition as Gardiner heads up slippery slope

publication date: Aug 20, 2018
author/source: Robin Roberts

Ford of Britain’s new executive director communications and public affairs is John Gardiner.


He will continue to head corporate communications in Ford of Europe and share the roles from 1 October. After more than 18 years at Ford Motor Company, Tim Holmes, has elected to retire from the FoB role. 


John, a former journalist and Ford PR veteran, started his automotive journey from an early age working at his uncle’s American car spare parts business, and also was assistant editor at Custom Car Magazine in the late 1980s. Since joining Ford in 1990, he has held a number of senior communication positions in the US, UK and Germany, and is currently Director News Operations at Ford of Europe in Cologne, a role he has held for the past nine years. 


In addition to his new UK role, he will retain responsibility for Ford of Europe’s corporate and executive communications. John will report directly to Susan Krusel, vice president, Communications & Public Affairs, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa.


“I want to thank Tim for his outstanding service over the years, not only in our biggest European market, but also as a highly-respected member of the senior communications leadership team with a deep commitment to serving media,” said Susan Krusel.  


“At the same time, it is exciting to see John take over a new, expanded role. His extensive experience will be key in delivering our core objectives, including building reputation and purchase consideration and helping the team expand its communications capabilities.”


The UK is Ford’s third largest global market and accounts for almost a third of the company’s European sales, by volume. The UK is home to both diesel and petrol engine manufacturing plants, as well as commercial vehicle and power train design and development. In addition, the new Ford Smart Mobility European headquarters is based at Stratford, near London.


“I’m delighted to be coming home to take on this new role,” said John Gardiner. “Tim, together with his team, has done an outstanding job flying the Ford flag high in Britain. The auto industry in Britain and Europe is going through a period of unprecedented change, bringing both challenges and huge opportunities. It’s an honour to be re-joining the Ford of Britain team at such an important juncture in our company’s history. I’m also looking forward to renewing old contacts and making new ones in the months ahead.”    


Tim Holmes, a former newspaper and specialist magazine journalist, first joined Ford of Europe in 2000 and held several Cologne-based senior communications roles before returning to the UK in 2008 to lead the UK team and subsequently was appointed to the board of Ford of Britain.


“It’s been an unusual privilege to work at Ford for all these years, to see so much change and evolution, and to play a part in telling the Ford story along the way,” said Tim Holmes.  


“With change now being the norm rather than the exception, I’m happy to hand over to such a seasoned professional as John.  I have immensely enjoyed my career with the Blue Oval but now it’s time to concentrate on becoming the world’s best 60-year-old skier.”

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