Blog: Sir Nick Scheele's career highlight - in his own words
Dave Leggett | 21 July 2014
Nick Scheele in his office, 2004
Tributes are flowing in for Nick Scheele who has passed away, aged 70. I met him a few times while he was COO at Ford, and in my experience he was indeed an affable chap, happy to chat to a journalist and he had a sunny demeanour about him, as suggested by the big smile in most of the pictures you see of him. I didn't know about his charitable works, but I'm not surprised.
I vividly recall going to Ford's WHQ in Dearborn to interview him just over ten years ago, a hot day in Dearborn, and I have dug out the picture I took of Nick in his office.
I asked Nick to look back at his career and pick out what he would consider his biggest achievement, from a personal point of view. He did not hesitate with his answer (which I have retrieved from our archive):
"Without a doubt, Jaguar and getting Jaguar to JD Power number one - I've still got the trophy up there. When I arrived at Jaguar it was 35th out of 36 and was kept off the bottom by Yugo - what a car to be kept out of bottom place by. And when I left we were number one. And that gives me a lot of pleasure and a lot of pride in the workforce that achieved that. Plus there's the knowledge that that can be done.
"The move from thirty-fifth to number one happened between '92 and '99. Back in '92, nobody would have remotely thought that a British export could get from thirty-fifth to number one. To get in the top ten would have been viewed as a Herculean accomplishment. Getting to number one didn't happen by luck. It happened because an awful lot of people really, really worked at it. And it leads me to my belief that people can do great things. And that was a great achievement and I still feel very, very good about it to this day."
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