The Richard Parry-Jones Appraisal Center is a facility used to enhance vehicle dynamics. It was named after the late, great Ford engineer Richard Parry-Jones who passed away in April last year. The vehicle dynamics building at the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium was appropriately named after Parry-Jones, who was widely respected for his knowledge of vehicle development, especially as it pertained to ride quality and product optimization. Many Ford vehicles may be traced back to Parry-Jones' tenure as Group Vice President of Global Product Development from 1998 until his departure in 2007. These vehicles include the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Ford Mondeo, Ford Mustang, Thunderbird, F-150, and Ford GT. Parry-Jones entered the world in 1951, having been born in Wales. He started as an intern in Ford's product development division in 1969.
"Richard enjoyed using this track to put Ford vehicles through their paces at various phases of development. He sought firsthand exposure to all stages of the automotive development process, from prototype to production, to learn firsthand what it was like to drive each generation. He thoroughly enjoyed himself behind the wheel, "according to Ford of Europe's Executive Director of Engineering Jörg Beyer. The naming of a significant structure after him is a fitting tribute that will constantly remind us that his innovative engineering spirit will continue to inspire the cars of the future.
To provide high-quality, long-lasting, and innovative automobiles that best match consumer wants and needs, Parry-Jones actively argued for incorporating customer feedback throughout the product development process. He has won numerous honors for his work, including "Man of the Year" from Automobile in 1997. Loughborough University in the United Kingdom presented Parry-Jones with an honorary doctorate in 1995 for his work advancing engineering education. Ten years later, for his exceptional contributions to the auto industry, he was awarded the British knighthood title of "Commander of the Order of the British Empire."
When developing new vehicles, Ford uses the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, where a 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) track with realistically replicated rough road surfaces is used. European engineers fine-tune auto technologies through hundreds of hours of testing on real-world European roads. @via Ford Authority.