DETROIT -- Nick Scheele, a globe-trotting troubleshooter and tough-nosed negotiator who served as president and COO of Ford Motor Co., died Friday. He was 70.
The affable, British-born Scheele spent nearly four decades at Ford and his easy-going style earned him a bevy of friends and admirers throughout the auto industry.
He served as chairman and CEO of Ford's Jaguar Cars unit from 1992 to 1999 and later chairman of Ford of Europe from January 2000 through July 2001.
He capped his career as Ford’s president and COO from 2001-05.
Scheele, working under then-CEO Bill Ford, led the troubled automaker's turnaround plan after the departure of former CEO Jacques Nasser. Ford was losing U.S. market share and spending huge sums on consumer rebates and incentives. The company remained profitable but only because of Ford Credit.
“Not only did Nick help us overcome many challenges at the time, he mended relationships with our dealers, our suppliers and our employees, and set the stage for many of today’s leaders who are moving us forward," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement Friday. “Nick Scheele was an outstanding leader whose global experience and passion for our products served Ford Motor Company at a critical time."