Dave PericakDirector, Global Performance Vehicles
Ford Motor Company
Dave Pericak is the Director, Global Performance Vehicles, for Ford Motor Company. His key responsibility is leading the newly created global Performance Vehicle organization, a merger of Ford’s Product Development-led Special Vehicles and Marketing, Sales & Service Motorsports Engineering teams.
Prior to this new role, Mr. Pericak was the chief engineer for the Ford Mustang, a role that he held since mid-2008. He led the launch of the 2015 Ford Mustang.
As a car, Mustang has always been about putting drivers in control and keeping them involved. As an engineer and a manager, Mr. Pericak also believes in being hands-on and involved. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and a master’s in engineering from Lawrence Technological University, he joined Ford as a manufacturing engineer in 1994. He has gained experience in all aspects of vehicle development - from initial feasibility studies to sorting issues on the assembly line during launch.
Mr. Pericak is not the type of manager to just sit in the office and go to meetings all day long. He prefers to be in the garage, laboratory, driving on the test track or out on the factory floor where he can be aware of what’s happening on the program and help keep it moving forward.
“What I think is unique about me is knowing how to motivate the team and set the visions, be accessible and involved without micromanaging - that’s a great balance and it’s what makes our team so successful,” says Mr. Pericak. “I don’t accept no for an answer, I’m the ‘we will do it, this is how we’re going to get it done kind of guy.’
“I don’t just bark orders and won’t ask someone to do something I don’t know how to do myself, and if I don’t know how to do it I’ll roll my sleeves up and help them do it.”
Mr. Pericak sees his role as doing what is necessary to enable all of the smart people on his team to keep moving forward toward their goal of meeting and exceeding their targets and creating the best car they can. “My job is to blow through the roadblocks and pave the ground and then say ‘drive baby’ and then they do it.
“Mustang always had my attention from the first time I laid my eyes on one,” he adds. “My 2000 GT convertible was the first new car I ever bought after driving a long series of older cars.”
Away from work, in addition to his 2000 Mustang GT convertible, Mr. Pericak owns a 1968 Mustang and a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca. He is married with two young children and likes to relax by getting outdoors and fishing.