Ford of Europe boss Nick Scheele, knighted in the Queen's birthday honours, is being tipped to become global chief executive Jac Nasser's deputy in Detroit. According to Ford insiders, Sir Nick's elevation is not yet certain but he may become chief operating officer to ensure policy is pushed through.
Sir Nick, who transformed Jaguar, ordered car production at Dagenham to end next year as part of a programme to end heavy Ford losses in Europe.
Peter Vardy, who heads the UK's third biggest motor retail group, also received a knighthood in an honours list which reflected the re-elected Government's 'work goes on' political stance. The award was for the Reg Vardy plc chairman's services to business and education in the North-east.
In 1989, Sir Peter set up the Vardy Foundation, a charitable trust which seeks to give children from deprived areas a good education.
Also knighted was Jackie Stewart, the former racing driver who is a consultant to Ford and Jaguar. Consumers' Association director Sheila McKechnie, who tussled with the motor industry over car pricing, becomes a Dame.