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Former FPV boss moves to Castrol

New beginnings: Rod Barrett’s new role as national sales manager for Castrol’s automotive division will see him working with franchise car dealers and independent workshops.

New sales role for ex-FPV chief Rod Barrett at Castrol Australia

General News logo31 Aug 2012

FORMER Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) boss Rod Barrett has taken on a new role with Castrol Australia after being made redundant from the performance brand in late May.

Mr Barrett started his new role as Castrol national sales manager – automotive on July 19 and is based at Castrol’s Melbourne office in Docklands.

He will manage business relationships with major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in Australia, as well as smaller independent workshops that sell Castrol lubricants.

Castrol was a major sponsor of Ford Falcon V8 Supercars raced by FPV’s sister operation, Ford Performance Racing, where Mr Barrett worked for more than two years before switching to the FPV road car division as general manager in 2007.

Mr Barrett was one of about 15 FPV staff to be made redundant three months ago in a restructure at Ford’s performance car arm that this week was taken in-house by Ford after majority owner ProDrive decided it wanted out.

A further 32 workers will be made redundant in the latest blow to the ailing Falcon hot shop.

While Mr Barrett’s retrenchment came as a shock, he said he was not surprised by FPV’s decision to lay off workers.

“I didn’t have a clue that it was happening,” he said. “But on the drive home you can probably see the writing on the wall “I loved the company. It was really in my DNA. I think when you love working at a company and such a sudden departure has occurred, you’re quite saddened by it.”

The May round of redundancies at FPV came six weeks after Mr Barrett returned from sick leave.

Despite his retrenchment, Mr Barrett said he was passionate about FPV and was proud of how the brand had developed during his time there.

“I loved doing what I did there,” he said. “And hopefully I added value to the company which I believe I did.”

Mr Barrett said that although he was offered a number of roles after his retrenchment, he used the time to carefully consider his next move.

“I wanted to stay within one of three industries – automotive, motor racing or sports,” he said.

“And because of the great relationship I had with Castrol, knowing the company, and the great culture to work in, it suited me best. I’m absolutely delighted to be here.”

Mr Barrett replaces Antony Schillaci, who moves into the role of national sales manager in Castrol’s mining division.

This week’s announcement that Ford will take FPV in-house after majority stakeholder Prodrive pulled out did not come as a surprise to Mr Barrett.

“There was always a hint that things weren’t good and that there may be a parting of ways or a sell-off or a closure or whatever,” he said.

Mr Barrett said that changes at FPV were disappointing, particularly for the remaining staff.

“It was very disappointing for what was a small, enthusiastic, passionate and long serving-team of people there,” he said.

“I experienced it with a number of my colleagues that went with me on May 29. So to see the remaining 32 yesterday, they are probably going through today what I experienced on the day I departed.”

Mr Barrett said he was unlikely to have any involvement in Castrol motor sport in his new role, but was happy to act as an adviser if required.

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