KERRY BALDORI: SVT CHIEF ENGINEER MOTIVATED BY CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING PERFORMANCE VEHICLES
SVT Chief Engineer
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- Kerry Baldori, a car lover through and through, still has almost every single one of the Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars he played with as a child
- Baldori is SVT’s global performance vehicle chief functional engineer, charged with bringing performance vehicles to life through design and development
- A Michigan native, Baldori considers the Shelby GT500® the bull’s-eye in terms of offering the ultimate package to customers
Kerry Baldori likely has the love of cars and trucks built into his DNA. Maybe that’s why the SVT global performance vehicle chief functional engineer still has nearly every Tonka truck and Matchbox car he ever owned – at least four cases full.
Baldori’s love for cars goes all the way back to when he was 3 years old, growing up on a farm in Frankenmuth, Mich. He even had a car before he turned 16 – a 1968 Nova. His next car was a 1969 Camaro that he pulled from a junkyard and built himself and used for racing. And if a friend ever needed help working on a car, Baldori was the one they called.
“I love having the ability to work on cars,” said Baldori. “It was my childhood dream to work for an auto company. Every day is a new challenge, and here I get to define, design and develop performance vehicles.”
Baldori is no stranger to SVT programs – he worked on the first one, the 1993 Cobra, as well as the 1994 Cobra, 1999 Lightning, SVT Contour and 2000 Cobra R. Other roles throughout the course of his 21-year Ford career include a two-year assignment at the Newman/Haas Indy-car team, a two-and-a-half-year assignment at Volvo in Sweden, and vehicle engineering manager for the all-new 2006 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr.
Even though Baldori felt lucky to be a part of those programs, the 2011 Shelby GT500® has been a highlight for him, too.
“This is the bull’s-eye for me. We worked to make it a balanced sports car that not only goes fast in a straight line but also on a road course,” he said. “It’s the ultimate package for enthusiasts.”
A technical aspect Baldori loves to take on is vehicle dynamics – a key part of the 2011 Mustang.
“Vehicle dynamics comes down to how the driver feels the car should react. It’s great to have that capacity to say I know how to change this, to do that,” he explained. “I enjoy the challenge of also having to understand how the different pieces of the car work and how they react – it intrigues me.”
Away from work, Baldori spends time with his wife and two daughters, coaches his daughter’s soccer team, works on his house and watches just about any kind of racing on TV.
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Kerry graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mechanical engineering
- He lives in Northville, Mich., with his wife Kim, and two daughters, Linnea and Gabrielle, ages 7 and 4, respectively
- He used to put 3,000 to 4,000 miles on a snowmobile each weekend in Michigan’s
- Kerry has traveled the world extensively, first as a child with his parents and then
in his role with Ford
- A family man, Kerry loves conquering new worlds with his daughters while playing Mario on the Wii; he even dressed up as a dinosaur for his daughter’s fourth birthday party
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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