Andrew Pollitt has two passions in life his family and the Ford Galaxy.
The 44-year-old chief program engineer for the Galaxy minivan inherited his lifelong dedication to Ford. His father, Bill Pollitt, was project manager for the Ford Transit during the 1960s and 1970s, and his grandfather was a Ford man as well.
Pollitt grew up in the county of Essex. the heart of Ford country in the UK. He still lives there with his wife and three children, in the town of Braintree. He is based at Ford's product development center in Dunton, England.
The newly face-lifted Galaxy will play a vital role in the company's product plans during the next few years. Ford no longer sells the Scorpio full-size sedan and has decided to delay the appearance of a compact minivan.
The new Galaxy is expected to go on sale in June.
'It's both a luxury car and a fully functioning multi-purpose vehicle,' said Pollitt. 'The new Galaxy is significantly more upmarket in terms of craftsmanship, fit and finish, image and ambience.'
Pollitt said Ford's customers decided what the priorities were for the new vehicle.
To get customer input, the Galaxy project team assembled a customer user group, based in the UK and Germany. The group met about three times a year during the project.
Pollitt said the group had significant input and influenced the modern look of the dashboard, perhaps the biggest difference between the new Galaxy and the old.
'We wanted to emphasize attractiveness,' he says. 'We wanted to improve functionality and comfort. We're also offering a whole host of new powertrain features.'
Naturally, Pollitt drives a Galaxy as his everyday vehicle. His daughter Rachel is a netball player and his sons Alexander and Richard play soccer. So Pollitt and his wife Veronica spend a lot of time driving their children between games.
Pollitt is particularly proud of the new Galaxy's 'chameleon' headlights.
'The headlights were something I picked on as being very jewel-like,' he said. 'I asked the design team to make them both fully functional and like a work of art. They're a design icon for Galaxy.'
Pollitt is also proud of the high-resolution video monitors that can be built into the backs of each front-seat headrest as an option. The monitors connect to a digital video player so rear-seat occupants can watch programs while wearing headphones. The video entertainment system was another innovation the customer user group suggested.
Pollitt said: 'With the new Galaxy, we wanted to showcase what is new and good about Ford.'