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Ford’s Nancy Gioia – Hybrid Queen

Nancy Gioia replaced Mary Ann Wright as Director of Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrids for Ford Motor Company in Fall 2005. Mary Ann nurtured the launch of the Ford Escape Hybrid and contributed to the understanding of hybrids different from Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.
We first met Nancy Gioia at the launch of the Thunderbird Roadster where she was the chief program engineer. She was open, friendly, conversational and a solid representative for Ford’s product development activities. She wouldn’t even rise to the bait that the T’Bird would not meet its sales potential because you couldn’t see out of it and because it didn’t have a retractable hardtop. Oh, well. The engineers can only implement the vision of others, right? (WRONG!)
Here is Ford’s blurb on Nancy Gioia…

Gioia Ford Blog.jpg

In its drive to become leader in “green” technology, Ford Motor Company has turned to one of its long-time engineers to lead the charge into a sustainable future. Nancy Gioia, Ford’s Director of Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrids, is committed not only to further development of the company’s hybrid vehicle portfolio, but also to raising the technology’s profile.
“The hybrids should be our generation’s Model T,” Gioia recently told The Detroit News, quoting her Uncle Harry, who continues to be a source of inspiration for her.
“He said the Model T became part of your life,” Gioia added. “They were more than just cars. You drilled wells with them. You drove them across your fields. Hybrids need to become part of people’s lives today.”
Gioia first became seriously interested in engineering as a high school student interning at Ford Motor Company. She changed her college plans from pre-law to electrical engineering, and upon graduation from University of Michigan selected Ford Motor Company over 14 other job offers.
“I don’t regret it one iota,” said Gioia, who is a native of southeast Michigan.
Gioia started her career at Ford in 1982 in its Electronics Division. “During the ’80s, vehicles went from having $200 worth of electronic components to having $1,200 worth,” Gioia recalled. “We’re seeing similarly rapid technology growth today with hybrid technology. It’s an opportunity to enhance vehicle performance and function while allowing us to get higher quality and reducing cost.”
Nancy’s career at Ford eventually led her to heading up the engineering team for the 2002 Ford Thunderbird and then as lead engineer for the company’s “lifestyle vehicle” group that includes the iconic Mustang.
“As a director I’m very participative and hands-on when my team needs me to be,” Gioia said, adding that she believes in including her team in decision making. “Ford’s hybrid team has some of best and brightest minds around. I have complete confidence in their technical breadth and depth.”
The only thing more important to Gioia than her work is her family. She is married to Tom Gioia, whom she met at Ford. They have a 13-year-old daughter, Samantha, in addition to a dog (Chloe) and two horses.

3 Comments

  • Laura beckerley| January 4, 2006 at 2:30 pm Reply

    hello i’m laura i would like to know more about the ford hybrids i’m doing research for a science project if you can get back to me by january 15 which is the day before it is due you can e-mail me at beckerleyohio@prodigy.net or call me at (740)587-1158 home or (740)403-3544 which is my cell phone number yes i am a seventh grader thank you for your time hope to hear from you soon thank you.
    sincerely,laura beckerley

  • katelyn semer| January 2, 2006 at 11:23 am Reply

    Dear Nancy Gioia,
    I read an article about hybrid cars and how they work. My name is Katelyn and I’m doing a project in science about renewable energy. I was wondering if you could give me more information about how it works. How much of pollution the car cuts down, and if the number of hybrids are increasing?

  • Urquhart| January 1, 2006 at 3:09 pm Reply

    I met Nancy Gioia years ago when whe was the T’Bird chief engineer. Seems very personable and capable. Hybrids are a tough nut to crack, it will be interesting to watch Gioia cut through the crap and develop hybrids people really want to buy.

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