Hau Thai-Tang

Profession: Engineer
Birthplace: Vietnam
Position: Ford Mustang Chief Engineer

Before becoming the Chief Engineer on the Ford Mustang, Hau Thai-Tang was Vehicle Engineering Manager for the Mustang line. He was in charge of the development and launch of the 2001 Mustang GT, V-6, Cobra and Bullitt GT models. In 1997 Hau was Vehicle Dynamics Supervisor, then Vehicle Engineering Manager and Vehicle Dynamics Supervisor for the Lincoln LS, Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2000. In 2001 Hau received the Young Leadership and Excellence Award from the Automotive Hall of Fame.

His work at the European Product Development Centre in Cologne, Germany and in Ford’s racing program prepared him to deal with the stress of tight deadlines — qualities essential for a chief engineer.

“The Indy 500 starts Sunday at 11 o’clock. If youÕre not there, they start without you.”

Thai-Tang was born in Vietnam. His mother’s employer, Chase Manhattan Bank, prompted the family to move following the fall of Saigon. They settled in Brooklyn, New York. Thai-Ting graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh in 1988 and joined Ford under its College Graduate Trainee program before getting his masters from the University of Michigan.

Thai-Tang’s three-decade love affair with the Mustang began when most kids were still playing with Tonka trucks. At the age of five in Vietnam he remembers seeing a white 1970 Mach One.

“That’s the car I remember,” says Hau. In 2004 someone who heard his story on a TV program sent him a photo of the original Mach One.

He lives in Plymouth, Michigan with wife Jenny.