Ford merges Brit brands, goes West

IRVINE, CA: Ford Motor Company is putting all its domestic Premium

Auto Group (PAG) brands under one roof at a new facility in Southern

California, and has named Simon Sproule as VP, communications and

marketing services.



The group comprises PAG's British marques Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land

Rover.



Sproule, a seven-year Ford veteran who joined the company as a product

press officer at Ford of Britain, was formerly VP of public affairs for

Jaguar North America. He will oversee a PR and marketing staff of

25.



He would not rule out a review of PR agency arrangements, saying, "I'm

going to take a fresh look at everything ... but no one's on notice."

Among the marques' agencies are Coyne Communications, Nike

Communications, and Prism.



As of September 1, Sproule reports to Mike O'Driscoll, president of

Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America.



Along with Volvo, the move from East Coast locations will physically

join the three British brands with Lincoln Mercury (LM) for the first

time, but they'll be grouped separately. Jim Trainor, LM PR director,

and Soren Johansson, Volvo North America's corporate communications

manager, report separately to their organizations' presidents and for

PR, like Sproule, to Ford corporate communications VP Jason Vines.



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