The Ford Mustang has had so many people dedicated to bringing it to life over the decades, from engineers and designers to Ford executives and even customers. Because March is National Women’s Month, and March 8, 2014, is International Women’s Day, we thought it would be cool to shine the spotlight on some of many women responsible for the success of this car.
In fact, the first Mustang sold in the U.S. was to a woman: Gail Wise of Chicago, back in 1964. Cut to 2014, and the 2015 Mustang, a car as eagerly awaited as that first model year. Women have helped develop the iconic car. And the new Mustang benefited from both perspectives during its development and engineering. Explains Michele Lubin Henney, Ford Vehicle Integration Supervisor, “As one of the female engineers on the program, I can offer a different perspective from the men on the team. I believe the end result is the most refined total driving experience we’ve ever offered our customers.” Here’s a look at four of the women involved in the helping bring the 2015 Mustang to life.
Marcy Fisher, Vehicle Line Director: She oversees each detail of the all-new Mustang as the vehicle comes together in the planning process before it hits dealer showrooms. She has 28 years of engineering expertise in manufacturing and product development, and joined Ford in 1986 as an engineer. Since then, she has held a number of positions at Ford, including several years of holding engineering positions at its assembly plants, where the vehicles come together on the plant assembly line, and also as director of design engineering in product development. In addition to her Mustang responsibilities, she holds the position of Ford vehicle line director, responsible for Explorer, Taurus, Police Interceptor, Flex and Escape development.
Michele Lubin Henney, Vehicle Integration Supervisor: You may be wondering what that job title means. Simply put, she’s responsible for the integration of attributes: how the car sounds, how it feels when it drives, the fuel economy, if it’s comfortable for the driver and passengers and the like. A lifelong motorsports enthusiast, her passion was sparked in her grandfather’s auto body shop, and during weekends spent at the track watching her father race motocross. Today, she has her own collection of motorcycles and in her free time loves to hit the road with her husband and ride.
Susan Lampinen, Chief Color and Materials Designer: For the past decade as chief color and materials designer, Susan has guided the process of selecting often iconic exterior paint colors as well as the colors and materials that adorn the Mustang cabin. Her favorite? That’s like picking your favorite model of Mustang, right? Impossible! But Race Red stands out. “Mustang paint colors need to denote performance, sportiness and power. I’m looking at authentic, expressive materials that need to be more premium with a relentless attention to detail. With Mustang, I’m not afraid to take a risk.”
Melanie Banker, U.S. Mustang Brand Manager: Melanie oversees the Mustang marketing and customer communications. “I hear from customers every single day, sharing the things they love about the car and people send me pictures of themselves with their Mustangs. I get requests from 7-year-olds asking me questions about why we made certain vehicle decisions.”