LONDON: Sir Nick Scheele, a British-born 38-year veteran of Ford Motor Company who retired in 2005 as global president/chief operating officer, is fronting a bid by US private equity group Ripplewood Holdings for Ford's two UK marques, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Neither brand has performed well under Ford's ownership and Jaguar, in particular, is seen by former enthusiasts as little more than badge on a Ford chassis.

Scheele (pictured) is just the man to reverse that impression. Himself a former chairman/ceo of Jaguar Cars, his seven-year stewardship saw the brand double its sales and regain its place as one of the world's top marques in terms of brand image, product quality and customer satisfaction.

New York-based Ripplewood specialises in auto industry investment and, along with other p/e groups, is currently conducting due diligence investigations.

It is understood that Scheele, although not directly employed by Ripplewood, has been brought on-side because of his unmatched knowledge of Jaguar and the Ford mindset.

He will be eyeball-to-eyeball in the pitch with Jacques Nasser, his quondam boss at Ford and now the front man for another p/e bidder, One Equity.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff