Blog: Scheele interview
Dave Leggett | 2 July 2004
I hope the Nick Scheele interview is of interest to readers. I think we covered quite a variety of topics but to those who say, why didn’t you press him on this or that or ask him about the other, I have just one thing to say: there wasn’t time! I had, maybe in total, a forty-minute slot, mid-afternoon.
This is how it went.
The PR lady meets up with me in reception and takes me up to the eleventh floor of Ford’s WHQ building. Once there, you’re out into a spacious reception area and there’s a spiral staircase to take you up to the top level. It is seriously plush up there. Nice prints on the walls. Display cases. Subdued lighting. Carpet that is a cut above the usual utility stuff.
We are on time, but we can’t go in yet and we’re directed to a glass-walled holding pen, just outside. I’m looking into Bill Ford’s office suite and feeling a strange fascination. There’s quite a lot of activity in there. Who are those people? What does that bloke want? People are waiting outside and then summoned in. Trivial thoughts start going through my head as the friendly PR lady and myself do the usual small talk. Does Mr Ford get his own coffee, I wonder? Come on Leggett, focus.
After maybe a ten-minute wait, the green light is on (no, not literally) and we’re led in to Nick’s office. There’s some introductory small talk and I learn that Sir Nick is Internet-friendly and a regular visitor to just-auto. He’s also interested in the geography of where we’re based in the English Midlands – a legacy of his time at Jaguar. Nick still has a home nearby.
But I’m aware that the clock is ticking, so the chitchat has to be curtailed more prematurely than I would like. Nick is easy-going and it’s a pity. But my tape-recorder is running, the notebook is out and off we go. I have to avoid too much deviation from my pre-prepared questions (no, if you’re me you don’t just go in and wing it, although you do, inevitably, deviate) lest the ground isn’t covered.
But he’s pretty talkative and the time is used pretty efficiently with barely a pause. Ten minutes before the end I check my list of questions – yes, it’s looking okay. The session lasts around forty minutes, but when the end comes, it’s made clear that he’s a busy man and I really do need to wrap-up. Nick’s a charming host, but there’s a PA anxious to get him on to whatever is next in his schedule.
Then I’m escorted out of the building by the very courteous PR person (a nice young lady). Job done. Just one vital task remains and I carry it out in the parking lot. Check the tape player (an ancient bit of equipment that I’ve had for many years). Yes! It did its job. The sigh of relief is audible all around Dearborn.
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