Title: Chief Engineer, Ford F-150
Click here to see watch an interview with Pete Reyes about the all-new Ford F-150.
Leading the engineering team behind the all-new Ford F-150 brought a host of new challenges to 27-year Ford veteran Pete Reyes.
Reyes, F-150 chief engineer, and his group were tasked with developing a next-generation version of the iconic Ford F-150. Ford F-Series remains America’s best-selling truck for 37 straight years and the country’s best-selling vehicle for 32 consecutive years.
Simply building upon the legacy of F-150 was not enough. Instead, the team created a full-size pickup truck that is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever and sets the standard for the future of trucks.
“The biggest challenge, from my perspective, was the sheer scope of the project,” said Reyes. “We have all-new cabs and boxes, five interior trim choices, a host of technologies new to the full-size pickup truck segment, an all-new engine and upgrades to existing powertrains. We also have an all-new chassis.”
Reyes brings to the group strength in leading teams from diverse backgrounds, skill sets and cultures.
“Growing up, I had the benefit of seeing the world from several ethnic and cultural perspectives,” said Reyes. “Our family was based in Flint, Mich., and my father was an accountant in the auto industry. His job took us to Caracas, Venezuela, where I attended school with students from all over the world.”
Reyes earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Upon graduation, Reyes entered the Ford College Graduate program just as the vehicle body engineering group – and the auto industry as a whole – was beginning the transformation from blueprints on a drafting board to virtual images on a computer screen.
Reyes soon was recruited into Ford’s truck and commercial vehicle engineering group, and has now spent 15 years on F-Series. His two previous stints as chief engineer were for the new 2008 Super Duty lineup and the 2010 Taurus.
Doug ScottTitle: Group Marketing Manager, Ford Trucks
Click here to see watch an interview with Doug Scott about the all-new Ford F-150.
Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager, doesn’t consider himself a gearhead in the traditional sense. You won’t necessarily find him hunched over an open engine compartment with tools in hand, tuning his suspension or rotating his tires.
The Detroit native and 35-year Ford veteran marketer, however, always has been fascinated by the relationship between the auto industry and the public’s passion for cars and trucks. Scott’s position, which encompasses product and consumer marketing for pickups, large SUVs and commercial vehicles, allows him to experience firsthand the excitement and anticipation customers display when a new vehicle is launched.
“Engaging our customers and learning from them is the most rewarding part of my job,” said Scott, who started at Ford in 1978 just two weeks after graduating from the University of Michigan. “We know the customer better than anyone else, especially on trucks, and we have the best, most dedicated people in the business designing, engineering, manufacturing and marketing our vehicles.”
Scott has been especially busy over the last year leading the sales resurgence of America’s best-selling truck to its highest volume since 2006 and best market share in 12 years. And, of course, he has been preparing for the launch of the next-generation F-Series.
“F-Series pickups have been the best-selling full-size pickups for 37 straight years because they are the ‘and’ solution,” said Scott. “F-Series trucks consistently deliver the best combination of attributes our customers demand – a tough truck with capability, performance, efficiency and Built Ford Tough reliability.”
Scott views the all-new Ford F-150 as setting the new standard in full-size pickups, and the beginning of a new era of Built Ford Tough. “The 2015 F-150 is designed to deliver more towing and hauling capability than the previous generation, and is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever,” he said.
Gordon PlattoTitle: Chief Designer, Ford F-150
Inside and out, the all-new Ford F-150 is rooted in this fundamental premise: Listen to the truck customer. And, more important, understand the truck customer.
That edict applies to everyone who touches the vehicle – including the design team.
“We really wanted to understand – from a customer perspective – how we could make the next-generation F-150 better, and what was top of mind for customers,” said Gordon Platto, chief designer for the all-new F-150. “The F-150 is tougher, smarter and more capable, and the design image and appearance needed to convey that loud and clear.”
The design of the next-generation F-150 encapsulates what the new truck is all about – a smarter, tougher truck that delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency.
“We wanted to make the new F-150 very efficient and aerodynamic but not lose that signature Built Ford Tough appearance we get with the machined cubic-style shapes,” said Platto. “We spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel developing shapes that balance the aerodynamic requirements for efficiency with the tough truck aesthetic.”
Another key part of the equation is how truck customers are demanding their vehicles support their lifestyle outside of work. The new F-150’s interior design balances function with comfort, and delivers the flexibility necessary to create a family of trucks, from the XL work truck through premium lifestyle vehicles like Platinum and King Ranch.
“F-150 customers require a fully capable work truck at the job site and a vehicle they would feel comfortable taking on a family vacation or a night out on the town,” said Platto.
This type of balance is one Platto personally knows well. He earned a business degree from Western Michigan University, and then enrolled in the transportation design program at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. His Bachelor of Fine Arts degree allowed him to pursue his passion for designing vehicles right out of school.
Platto has been with Ford for more than 20 years. In addition to F-150, he counts the Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKR Concept and Ford Taurus SHO among his credits.
“In the end, our inspiration is our customers, and the design is based on what the customer wants,” said Platto. “We can’t build a truck and just offer it to the customer – we have to get into the minds of our customers and understand their underlying needs and wants, then interpret how those needs will look for the future.”
Jerry FarrellTitle: Chief Program Manager, Ford Trucks
Prior to joining Ford 16 years ago, Jerry Farrell worked for the space systems division of General Dynamics. Now, as chief program manager for Ford trucks, he’s part of the team behind the all-new Ford F-150.
“The all-new Ford F-150 is a reinvention of America’s favorite truck, and delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency -- all of which will directly relate to how real customers use the truck,” said Farrell.
Innovations that will help truck customers be more efficient in their work and enjoy their off-hours are found throughout the all-new Ford F-150.
This includes an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine. Other features are cargo box attachment interface plates that provide additional tie-downs and improved flexibility, and such driver-assist innovations as a 360-degree camera, which makes it easier to navigate tight corners and parking spaces. Energy-efficient interior and exterior LED lighting improves visibility day and night.
Farrell, a native of Stillwater, Minn., is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys running, hiking in remote locations and working on wood projects.
Phil CollarenoTitle: Vehicle Line Director, Ford Trucks
As vehicle line director for Ford Trucks, Phil Collareno’s team leads the product development effort behind the all-new Ford F-150.
The new F-150 was designed and developed with a specific mission, one that has guided Ford F-Series to industry leadership now approaching four decades – deliver the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever.
“For the all-new Ford F-150, we continue to create for our customers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency – all attributes our truck owners demand and expect,” said Collareno.
In addition to his work with the F-150 engineering team, Collareno regularly interacts with truck customers.
“We build our trucks to meet our customers’ high standards,” he said. “Our customers need a full-size pickup for their work and recreational needs. Downsizing to a midsize pickup or other smaller vehicle is simply not an option.
“We believe the new F-150 really sets the standard for the future of trucks,” added Collareno.
The Michigan native has spent his entire 34-year career with Ford. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Collareno also has held a variety of product development leadership positions in North America, South America and Europe.
Alana StragerTitle: Program Management Analyst, Ford F-150
Talk for five minutes – 30 seconds is probably enough – with Alana Strager, and her passion for delivering innovations to customers of the all-new Ford F-150 is readily apparent.
“Working with the brightest and most innovative people in the industry to deliver the smartest F-150 ever built is truly exciting,” said Strager, program management analyst for the team.
Strager leads the innovations team, which has delivered a wealth of new features to help F-150 customers be more efficient in their work and better enjoy their off-hours.
Many of these innovative new features are found in the place that makes a pickup truck a pickup truck – the cargo box.
A key innovation in the new Ford F-150 cargo box are four plates integrated near the box corners equipped with removable cleats. Known as the BoxLink™, these additional tie-downs improve the functionality, flexibility and organization of the truck’s cargo box.
“Our customer is counting on us to deliver these types of innovations – they have to move a certain amount of cargo, they have to be able to tow certain amounts,” said Strager. “Having these hard truths as a foundation for our work is incredibly motivating and really focuses the team.”
Delivering outstanding innovations to Ford truck customers runs deep in Strager’s blood. She was born in Detroit, the daughter of Melvin Strager, program manager for the HN80 – a heavy truck that was a game-changer for the industry.
A Michigan State alum with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Strager started working on the HN80 with her dad and brother during her years as a student – moving into a program management role once she graduated and remaining on Ford truck programs for the majority of her 20-plus-year career. She worked on all of the Harley-Davidson Super Duty trucks, and calls her time with that team a career highlight.
In her leisure time, Strager enjoys skiing, running and participating in triathlons and adventure races. Last year, she did Tough Mudder – a 10- to 12-mile military-style obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.
Jennifer ShawTitle: Driver Assistance Electronics Supervisor, Ford F-150
Click here to see watch an interview with Jennifer Shaw about the all-new Ford F-150.
If you appreciate Ford product features that help you avoid problems on the road by eliminating blind spots, warn you of traffic that’s too close, and make it easier to maneuver in tight spaces, you have Jennifer Shaw’s group to thank for it.
The University of Michigan graduate supervises a small group of engineers that specializes in designing systems that help ease driving where space is scarce. The three areas Shaw’s group focuses on are video cameras, ultrasonic parking assistance and blind spot/cross-traffic radar.
“There’s a lot of satisfaction with the features we develop, because we know they help our customers out,” said Shaw. “Knowing these systems can help people in tight situations is very satisfying.”
Shaw joined Ford through the Ford College Graduate Program after earning her master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2001. After completing a two-year rotation through a variety of engineering jobs, she began work on assignments that included systems integration for Focus Electric, remote keyless entry, keyless entry with push-button start, and the engine immobilizer.
In the 12 years Shaw has been with Ford, she lists working as a design and release engineer launching the company’s first keyless entry with push-button start system as her most rewarding project so far.
Like everyone on the F-150 team, Shaw is excited about the all-new truck.
“The all-new F-150 offers our customers so much more than ever before when it comes to technology, including segment-first features that automatically assist drivers,” she said.
Members of Ford’s advanced materials team for the new F-150, seen here in the company’s materials research lab, are heavyweights when it comes to developing materials that are tough, durable and make Ford vehicles more capable than ever. The team’s work on the all-new Ford F-150 has resulted in Ford taking the next step in truck leadership with the first full-size pickup to use high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys throughout the body and cargo box. This helped shed up to 700 pounds from the truck without sacrificing performance and capability. Click here
to find out how the team did it.