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Ford Media Center
Joseph Bakaj is vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
Bakaj has served in the position since Nov. 1, 2013, with responsibility for all product programs for the company’s European operations. He reports to Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.
Bakaj has more than 30 years of product development experience at Ford Motor Company, working in Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States.
Prior to this role, Bakaj served as vice president, Powertrain Engineering, responsible for overseeing all engine and transmission engineering worldwide, beginning in January 2011.
In April 2008, Bakaj was appointed vice president, Global Product Programs, Ford Motor Company, and vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
Bakaj was previously vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, beginning in September 2005. Bakaj managed the development and launch of all of the company’s new products, and served as a member of Ford of Europe’s executive operating committee.
Before rejoining Ford of Europe in 2005, Bakaj was senior managing executive officer in charge of design, product planning, research and development for Mazda Motor Corporation and responsible for the worldwide development of all Mazda products.
Immediately prior to his position at Mazda, he worked at Ford as vehicle engineering director for North American truck product development. His past experience includes powertrain engineering and extensive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and chassis work.
Bakaj was also recognized as an Automotive News All Star in 2011 for his work on the 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines and received the 2011 Automotive News Europe Eurostar award for his extensive work on renewing Ford products in Europe. He was named Engineer of the Year in 2000 by U.K.-based Autocar magazine.
Bakaj earned a degree in mechanical engineering from City University in London before joining Ford of Britain in 1985. He is married with one child and is fluent in German and English.