Raj Nair is executive vice president and president of North America, Ford Motor Company, effective June 1, 2017. In this role, he is responsible for leading all aspects of Ford’s North American business units. He reports to Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Markets.
Previously, Nair was executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer (CTO), a position he held since December 1, 2015. In this role, Nair had global responsibility for all aspects of the company’s design, engineering, research and product development, and played a key role in the company’s expansion into emerging mobility opportunities. Since April 2012, he had been group vice president of Product Development and CTO.
Prior to 2012 as vice president of Engineering for Product Development, Nair oversaw all engineering for car, truck and SUV vehicles for the Ford and Lincoln brands, and was responsible for delivering on Ford’s commitment to offer more new products faster than ever before by leveraging greater sharing and reuse of platforms and components globally. He also helped lead the development and implementation of the Ford brand DNA.
Previously, Nair served for three years as vice president, Operations, Asia Pacific. In this position, he was responsible for Product Development, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality and Information Technology within the Asia Pacific region.
Nair has held a number of senior positions in Manufacturing, Product Development and Purchasing and, besides North America, Nair also has worked on assignments in Europe, South America and Asia Pacific. He previously was executive director, Commodity Business Planning, where he led a cross-function team responsible for improving Ford’s material cost competitiveness. Prior to that, Nair was executive director, North American Product Development, responsible for the engineering and development for all truck and SUV programs including the Ford F-Series, Explorer and Expedition.
In 2000, Nair was appointed director, New Model Programs, Advanced & Manufacturing Engineering, Vehicle Operations. In this position, he was responsible for all Ford North American Vehicle Operations launches, oversaw the New Model Programs Development Center and helped reinstitute Ford’s Launch Quality Operating System.
Nair joined Ford Motor Company in 1987 as a Body and Assembly Operations launch engineer and held various positions on more than 11 vehicle programs in 13 assembly plants. On assignment to Europe, Nair was the Vehicle Operations launch manager for the 1996 European Fiesta. He then became responsible for all Ford of Europe launches including the Focus, Transit and Mondeo.
Born in 1964, Nair holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with an automotive specialty from Kettering University in Flint, Mich., and was named the recipient of the 2012 Kettering Alumni Award for Management Achievement. In 2014, he was named the Fortune Automotive Businessperson of the Year. In addition to his responsibilities at Ford, Nair serves on the board of trustees of Kettering University.