The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is sending our thoughts to the family and friends of Richard Parry-Jones who passed away yesterday and whose lasting legacy includes playing a key role in shaping the net-zero automotive agenda in the UK.
Richard was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the APC back in 2013 and his influence on the low-carbon advances cannot be underestimated.
Trusted by both the Government and the automotive industry, he was instrumental in pushing for investment in low-carbon technologies and setting in motion, through the APC, research and development that has changed the landscape of automotive engineering. A transformative leader in the automotive sector and founding member of the UK Automotive Council, his enthusiasm and collaborative approach laid the foundations to accelerate the UK supply chain on the transition to a zero-emissions future.
Reflecting on this today, our Chairman, Bob Dover, said:
“Richard was an inspirational leader and played a vital role in improving vehicle dynamics at the Ford Motor Company, a legacy which lives on today. He touched many lives for the better, and all in the vehicle community will be immensely sad to hear of his passing.”
Richard joined Ford Motor Company as an undergraduate trainee in 1969 and went on to become Group Vice-President-Global Product Development, Chief Technical Officer and Head of Global R&D Operations. He led the teams responsible for some of the most successful cars in Ford’s history including the Ford Focus before going on to work at a strategic level chairing the Automotive Innovation and Growth Team and then the UK Automotive Council.
Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, who also had a lengthy career at Ford and knew Richard well, said his impact cannot be underestimated:
“Richard was a real inspiration for many of us who had the good fortune to have worked closely with him. He continued to support and guide us at the APC right up until his passing.
“An amazing automotive engineer, demanding that design and development starts and always comes back to the fundamental physics, while never losing sight that the driver has to be at the core of the product.
“His ability to absorb the specifics while always seeing and bringing everyone back to the bigger picture, made him someone whose insight and opinion was in demand by boards, governments and individuals.
“It set the tone for what we do at APC and laid the foundations for net-zero propulsion that we and the automotive industry must continue to build on.”
Today we remember Richard not just as an incredible engineer, but as a person with the vision and ability to bring people together and make a lasting global impact.