DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Friday named the engineer who oversaw development of its 2005 Mustang sports car as head of advanced product creation. He will replace Chris Theodore, who retires Dec. 1.

Hau Thai-Tang, who will start his new job Dec. 1, also will head the Special Vehicle Team (SVT). He led the development and launch of the 2001 Mustang GT, Mustang Cobra and Bullitt Mustang GT models, Ford said in a statement.

Theodore, vice president of advanced product creation, is retiring from Ford after more than 30 years in the automotive industry.

Thai-Tang will report directly to Phil Martens, group vice president of product creation. John Coletti continues as director of the Special Vehicle Team and will report to Thai-Tang.

Said Martens in a prepared statement: “The appointment of Hau to this role further cements the importance of SVT to Ford.”

Theodore started at Ford as a college intern and an engineer in the heavy truck group. He spent time at General Motors, American Motors and Chrysler before returning to Ford in 1999 as vice president for North America Car, where he played a role in the company’s new car line-up with vehicles like the Ford GT.

Thai-Tang, who was chief nameplate engineer for the 2005 Ford Mustang, also was the vehicle dynamics supervisor and engineering manager for the 2000 LS. Thai-Tang has worked on assignment for Ford in Germany, and has worked with Ford Racing. He joined Ford in 1988 as a college graduate trainee.

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