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Nancy Gioia, director, Global Electrification
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  • Nancy Gioia, director of Global Electrification and one of Automotive News’ “100 Leading Women in the Auto Industry,” is driving Ford’s accelerated electrified vehicle strategy around the world
  • Ford plans to deliver the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010, Focus Electric passenger car in 2011, two next-generation hybrids and plug-in hybrid in 2012
  • In her free time, Gioia rides dressage, a form of formal, competitive and standardized horseback riding

In its drive to be a greener automaker, Ford Motor Company relies on one of its longtime engineers to lead the global charge in developing and implementing its current and next generation of electrified vehicles.

Nancy Gioia, director of Global Electrification, leads strategy and planning for the next generation of Ford’s global electric vehicle portfolio, touching all aspects of electrified transportation including product planning, supplier partnerships and collaboration with the energy industry and government.

Previously, as Ford’s North American director of Sustainable Mobility Technology and Hybrid Vehicle Programs, Gioia oversaw development of Ford’s electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle portfolio and its global electrification strategy to bring to market next-generation hybrids, battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“Hybrids and electric vehicles should be to the 21st century what the Model T was to the 20th century,” Gioia said. “Model Ts were more than just cars – they were an engine of economic growth. Green technologies, such as hybrids and electric vehicles along with other advanced technologies to improve fuel economy, all have the potential to contribute toward a sustainable future for our company and our planet.”

Gioia became seriously interested in engineering between high school and university following a summer intern assignment at Ford Motor Company. She enjoyed the internship and excelled at math and science, so she changed her college plans from pre-law to electrical engineering, and upon graduation from the University of Michigan picked Ford over 14 other job offers.

Striking the right balance
When Gioia isn’t directing the development of Ford’s hybrid and electric vehicles, she and her daughter enjoy riding dressage – a formal, standardized and competitive style of horseback riding that is “all about harmony and teamwork,” she said.

Gioia added that there are many parallels between dressage riding and working at Ford, such as teamwork and communication, continuous learning, sensitivity to small signals and different ways of communicating, and awareness of different cultures. All of these skills, she said, are necessary to realizing cross-functional, international teamwork, with a focus on a clear goal with achievable results, as well as the need for ongoing training and skill development.

“Having the right equipment to do the job well, even achieving the right ride, handling and steering has many horse parallels,” Gioia said. “When you are out of balance you know it, and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.”

Gioia started her career at Ford in 1982 in electronics, and through the years worked a variety of design and release and manufacturing assignments, including vehicle programs director, engineering director for small front-wheel- and rear-wheel-drive car platforms, and quality director for North American models.

Today, Gioia oversees Ford’s aggressive strategy to incorporate electrified vehicles into its product portfolio. Work is already under way for the next-generation hybrid that will build on the success of the current 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in the market.

Ford also is moving quickly to deliver plug-in hybrids and pure battery electric vehicles while working in collaboration with the utility industry to ensure a seamless connection between the vehicles and their new power source, the electric grid.

“This is a remarkable time to be working in the auto industry,” Gioia said. “I have complete confidence in our Global Electrification team’s technical breadth and depth as we develop vehicles that will deliver benefits to our customers, the environment and our business around the globe in a sustainable way.”

In 2005 Gioia was named as one of Automotive News’ “100 Leading Women in the Auto Industry.” In 2007 she received the Rare Foundation’s “Ordinary Hero” award for leadership and mentoring and a Crain’s Detroit Business award as one of “Metro Detroit’s Most Influential Women.” She remains active with Stanford University as the Ford Corporate Champion and is a member of the Smith College Advisory Board, the Electric Drive Transportation Association Board and the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Center Advisory Board.

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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

March 31, 2010

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