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Jaguar Says Goodbye To Scheele

"Mr Jaguar" Nick Scheele was given a civic send-off by Coventry City Council when the deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Joan Wright hosted a lunch in his honour.

Mr Scheele, who has been credited with reversing the luxury-car company from the brink, has been switched by the parent company Ford to a European wide role.

His successor at Jaguar is Wolfgang Reitzle, who was a high-flier at one of ‘Jag’s’ big rivals BMW.

He has a tough act to follow. Scheele not only changed Jaguar’s fortunes, he became part of the local community. He was actively involved in several local charity projects and was voted a lifetime member of the NSPCC after spearheading an appeal to raise 450,000 for a new child care centre in Coventry.

He also played an active role in the Save the Children Fund, the St Basil’s Appeal for Homeless Children and he was a patron of Greenways Homes.

He is a past president of BEN – the motor industry’s benevolent fund – and remains on the committee. He serves on the advisory boards of Coventry University, the British American Chamber of Commerce, the Fullbright Commission and Durham University, where he studied for a degree in languages.

Scheele was Midlands Businessman of the Year in 1996 for his efforts in saving Jaguar and he is on the executive committee of the Society of Manufacturers and Traders. He is particularly keen on the training and education of young people.

He arrived at Jaguar in 1992 after four years as president of Ford of Mexico and during his stay as chairman and chief executive the Coventry company their worldwide sales doubled.

He also directed Jaguar into new sectors of the luxury car market. The S-Type saloon was recently launched and the company will introduce the X400 model in the year 2001. By then Jaguar’s sales will have quadrupled.

Dr Reitzle, a 50 year old Bavarian born engineer, rose through the ranks at BMW and was chairman of the Rover Group board from 1995-1997. He resigned from BMW in February and six weeks later was appointed Group Vice President of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group and Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd.

Asked about his role at Jaguar he said:

"My job here is to learn, learn, learn. I want to know all about the company’s famous past and the plans for the future."

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