JAMAL HAMEEDI: BUILDING FAST CARS WITH HIGH PERFORMANCE - THE PERFECT JOB
SVT Chief Nameplate Engineer
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- Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief nameplate engineer, keeps his primary goal simple: “To make the greatest performance vehicles available on the market, regardless of price”
- While raised and educated in St. Louis, Hameedi believes Detroit is the best place for a true car enthusiast to work
- Hameedi spent eight years working on a Ford-sponsored SCORE trophy truck team, helping to develop the powertrain that won three Baja 1000 titles
Jamal Hameedi is fairly sure that if his elementary school playmates knew what he was doing for a living these days, they’d all laugh. After all, it’s no secret the SVT chief nameplate engineer has loved sports cars ever since he was a child.
Responsible for all programs under the SVT nameplate – including the 2010 Raptor and the new 2011 Shelby GT500® – Hameedi has an extremely diverse role. He must ensure every new SVT vehicle meets its engineering, manufacturing, business and timing objectives. It’s enough to keep the 19-year Ford veteran frenetically busy – and supremely satisfied with his job.
“I get to play with fast cars and trucks for a living,” says Hameedi. “My job blends the technical side with the aesthetic and creative side. I work with the designers in the studio, and I also work with the engineers. We’re creating a car that’s not only beautiful, but one that has to perform as well. That process – seeing something go from an idea, to something an assembly plant makes day in and day out – is extremely rewarding.”
Hameedi has worked on a wide variety of programs throughout his years at SVT and has found that each offers its own challenges – particularly the all-new Ford GT, which was unveiled in 2002.
“That was the biggest, most technological, all-encompassing program we did,” he says. “Instead of taking an already existing platform, we had complete control of it within SVT.”
Most recently, his team took on the upgrade of the 2011 Shelby GT500. “The 2011 GT500 program is really all about the handling, the driving dynamics and the new aluminum engine,”
he says. “It’s an exciting time for us, because SVT is really fulfilling its role as a technology leader within Ford.”
Praise for the Motor City
Hameedi grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. But Detroit, he says, is really the place for true car lovers.
“What’s really cool about Detroit is that there are so many car enthusiasts in this city,” he says. “There’s a huge car culture you can’t find anywhere else, and I’m very involved in that.”
Of course, he hasn’t given up on racing – he still follows the Ferrari Formula One team and enjoys watching rally and off-road racing as well. While he also enjoys tennis in his spare time, Hameedi admits his job is never too far from his mind. His primary goal is simple: “To make the greatest performance vehicles available on the market, regardless of price.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Hameedi sold cars in college. He says he excelled at extolling the virtues of the vehicle – he just wasn’t that great at getting customers to sign on the dotted line
- Hameedi spent eight years working with a Ford-sponsored SCORE trophy truck team – helping to develop the powertrain that won three Baja 1000 titles and regularly providing race support in Baja California, Mexico
- He currently resides in Royal Oak, Mich.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Feb. 8, 2010