Starting Feb. 7, Michael Straughan will be responsible for manufacturing at Bentley Motors Ltd. Straughan, a Jaguar Land Rover executive, will succeed Doug Dickson, who will retire later in the year. In a Bentley statement, Straughan said that the opportunity was “too good” to pass up and so he now looks forward to “helping shape the strategic direction of Bentley.”
He said that the first thing he’ll do is to immerse himself in the Crewe operations and the Volkswagen Group.
Straughan, as a board member for manufacturing, will report directly to the chairman and CEO of Bentley, Wolfgang Duerheimer, who succeeded Franz-Josef Paefgen on Feb.1.
In the statement, Paefgen said that Straughan has the “broad experience, expertise and commitment” to help maintain Bentley’s hallmarks of quality, craftsmanship and excellence.
He also described Straughan to have the commercial prowess to help Bentley as it goes into full production of the flagship Mulsanne and the new Continental GT. At Jaguar Land Rover, Straughan was operations director for the Halewood plant in Merseyside, England.
He has also worked for Nissan Motor Co., Volvo and LDV, where he worked for several manufacturing plants both in the UK and abroad, and held a wide range of roles, from operations, material planning, and logistics, to manufacturing engineering and specific processes.
Doug Dickson, Michael Straughan’s predecessor, has overseen the transformation of Bentley’s manufacturing operations into one of the most highly skilled production sites in the United Kingdom. Dickson will be taking charge of a number of strategic projects within Bentley until his official retirement in 2011.
Paefgen thanked Dickson for his contribution to Bentley in the past 12 years. He added that Dickson has been an inspirational figure to everyone, adding that he is one of those behind Bentley’s renaissance.
Once he assumes his new post, Straughan will have responsibility over Bentley’s manufacturing operations including production, planning and logistics as well as lean operations and general plant operations.
Straughan remarked that coming to Bentley as a member of its Board was too good an opportunity to turn down, noting that the carmaker boasts of an illustrious history and a bright future.
He quipped that while he is looking forward to helping shape Bentley’s strategic direction, he first wants be immersed in the Crewe operations and the wider Volkswagen Group. Straughan is a native of the North East of England and is married with two children.