Carl Widmann: Aspiring Arborist Gives Ford Taurus Its Feel
Carl Widmann, vehicle engineering manager
Carl Widmann is responsible for seeing that Taurus delivers on competitive attributes that are designed to please customers. As vehicle engineering manager, he oversees performance, fuel economy, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control.
But there is still another Taurus trait that Widmann and his team are responsible for – a measure that combines objective data mining with seat-of-the-pants subjectivity, or the art and science of vehicle dynamics. How Taurus steers, handles and brakes all combine to provide the feel of the car, what it communicates to the driver, and how these messages are transmitted.
“Three short years ago Taurus came roaring back as Ford’s rolling technology showcase,” said Widmann. “Quickly debriefing buyers of the all-new 2010 Taurus, we saw opportunity in making the car more nimble on the road and giving the driver a quieter overall ride.”
When he isn’t turning hot laps on the proving grounds road course or leading cross-country engineering and development drives, Widmann can be found – often clad in plaid – at the wheel of his diesel-powered Ford tractor, tending to the needs of neatly planted saplings on his Christmas tree farm.
His life and passion
- A Livonia, Mich., native, Carl earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan
- He attended graduate school at both University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon, ultimately earning a master’s degree
- Carl is married, with one daughter at home
- Like most vehicle engineering managers with extensive dynamics experience, Carl mixes business with pleasure as he loves cars and loves to drive
What he does for Ford
- Widmann, a 21-year Ford veteran, manages customer-facing attributes for the 2013 Taurus – among other Ford D-platform nameplates
- “In a nutshell, my role is to make a great product better,” he says
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