Parry-Jones takes over at Welsh Au­to­mo­tive Fo­rum

Western Mail - - BUSINESS WALES - SION BARRY Busi­ness editor sion.barry@waleson­

The body rep­re­sent­ing Wales’s au­to­mo­tive sec­tor has a new chair­man. In­ter­na­tion­ally renowned en­gi­neer Pro­fes­sor Richard Parry-Jones has been ap­pointed chair­man of the Welsh Au­to­mo­tive Fo­rum board of di­rec­tors.

The Welsh-born former head of Ford’s global re­search and de­vel­op­ment headed 33,000 en­gi­neers and cre­ated the game-chang­ing Mon­deo and Fo­cus models, and was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ing As­ton Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo cars when they were part of the com­pany’s Premier Au­to­mo­tive Group. He was awarded the CBE for ser­vices to the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try and en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion in 2004.

Prof Parry-Jones chaired the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s min­is­te­rial ad­vi­sory group on econ­omy, trans­port and en­ergy and un­til re­cently was the founder chair­man of the UK Au­to­mo­tive Coun­cil work­ing with orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers and tier one sup­pli­ers to pro­mote in­vest­ment and grow the UK au­to­mo­tive re­search and de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

He still sits on the coun­cil with a re­mit for elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and was re­cently ap­pointed Chair­man of the UK Fara­day Chal­lenge Ad­vi­sory Board to steer the country’s rapidly evolv­ing bat­tery tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing mar­ket.

After leav­ing Ford in 2008 Prof Parry-Jones estab­lished his own com­pany, RPJ Con­sult­ing, work­ing with in­ter­na­tional blue-chip clients in the au­to­mo­tive, mo­bil­ity, aerospace and en­ergy sec­tors.

The Welsh Au­to­mo­tive Fo­rum com­pany rep­re­sents 40 in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses and over 100 other small and medium sized com­po­nent sup­pli­ers with Welsh fa­cil­i­ties, to­gether em­ploy­ing about 18,000 peo­ple gen­er­at­ing an­nual sales in ex­cess of £3.2bn and a pay­roll above £500m an­nu­ally.

Prof Parry-Jones suc­ceeds the board’s founder chair­man, Prof Garel Rhys who died last year. His first pub­lic en­gage­ment as Chair­man of the WAF board will be at the Au­tolink 2018 con­fer­ence in Cardiff Sta­dium on June 20, which will high­light lo­cal sourc­ing and com­pet­i­tive­ness along with an ex­hi­bi­tion by mem­ber com­pa­nies.

Econ­omy and Trans­port Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Ken Skates said, “The ap­point­ment of Pro­fes­sor Richard Parry-Jones is a huge bonus for Wales and in­dica­tive of the strength of the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor in Wales. Pro­fes­sor Parry-Jones is a glob­al­lyre­spected leader who will bring a huge amount of charisma, drive and ex­pe­ri­ence to this key role.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Wales Au­to­mo­tive Fo­rum, Tim Wil­liams, said: “We are ex­tremely pleased that Richard ac­cepted our in­vi­ta­tion to chair WAF.

“He brings a wealth of knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ence and un­der­stand­ing of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, at a time when it is needed more than ever be­fore, given the tech­ni­cal and leg­isla­tive chal­lenges that our sec­tor faces. We very much look for­ward to work­ing with Richard to de­liver the best ser­vice that we can for our mem­bers and our econ­omy.”

Roger Dono­van

> Chair­man of the Welsh Au­to­mo­tive Fo­rum Richard Parry-Jones

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