Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man takes up top post at motoring firm

By Rachel Martin

Tobermore man Lyle Watters has been appointed to a prestigious post at motoring giant Ford.

Mr Watters will become president of the company's operations in South America and a vice president of the international car company.

He will take up the roles on August 1, moving from his position as Ford of Europe chief financial officer.

In his new position, he will be responsible for all the car company's operations in South America.

The father-of-two, who is from Tobermore in Co Londonderry, has described some of the tough decisions he's had to make in the course of his European job.

In an interview with the Irish Times in 2014, he described how he'd set about reducing production capacity at Ford.

"In 2013, we closed Southampton, we closed Dagenham stamping and tooling, and we took the decision to close Genk in Belgium.

"That took about 18% capacity out of Europe for us and we expect it to generate gross savings in the order of $400-500m annually."

Before working for Ford in Europe, he was chief financial officer at Ford South America.

He was born in May 1965 and graduated from Queen's University in Belfast with an MBA in 1987. He studied accountancy before his MBA.

Mr Watters joined Ford of Britain in 1987 and spent seven years working in finance before moving to global headquarters in Michigan.

He is one of seven children from a well-known family in the Co Derry town.

His parents, Desmond and Marian, run a funeral directors in the village, D Watters Funeral Services. The family grew up in a house next to the funeral parlour.

Belfast Telegraph