View Full Version : Ray Windecker - Former Studebaker sales analyst

09-28-2013, 11:19 AM
Ford & Studebaker’s Ray Windecker, straight-shooting sales analyst, dies at 86

Ray Windecker was born in Cleveland in 1927 and was part of the U.S. Navy submarine service during World War II.

Dave Versical
Automotive News
September 27, 2013 – 1:51 pm ET
DETROIT – Ray Windecker, a former Studebaker manager who carved out a career as research analyst at Ford Motor Co., died Sept. 4 at age 86.

The cause was heart failure, said his wife, Pat.

For nearly a quarter-century, Windecker worked in a position created for him by Ford public relations chief Walter Murphy: sales analyst on the public affairs staff. In that role he dished out a special brand of unvarnished counsel to journalists and top executives alike.

“Ray would tell it as he saw it,” said Jim Bright, a former executive director of public affairs for Ford. “He would not sugarcoat — whether he was talking to Red Poling or Alex Trotman or Edsel Ford.”

“He was amazing at taking a sheet and spotting a trend.”

Windecker was born in Cleveland on May 2, 1927, and was part of the U.S. Navy submarine service during World War II, his wife said. He joined Studebaker after graduating with an engineering degree from Ohio State University in 1952 but soon switched to the business side as a field representative, she said.

After Studebaker ended U.S. auto production in 1963, he was hired by Lincoln-Mercury. A short time later he was chosen for the manager of research and analysis role.

He retired from Ford in 1989. After retirement, he ran his own research firm, American Autodatum, and was a free-lance writer. He contributed occasional commentaries and Letters to the Editor of Automotive News. He was also active in two Studebaker clubs.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Mark and Brian.

At Windecker’s request, services were private, his wife said.

Originally posted at: Chryco Daily Auto News Digest http://www.chrycoautonewsdigest.com/your-friday-chryco-auto-news-digest-19

Bill Pressler
10-02-2013, 06:07 PM
Ray drove a shuttle bus during the '95 Dearborn SDC International meet. My wife sat near the front and said he told her he was 'fired by Studebaker'--probably not exactly the case, but she said he was a nice guy and she formed that opinion on only the short jaunt from the host hotel to the meet!

10-02-2013, 08:33 PM
If we could enjoy some levity around here, this line jumped out at me:

“He was amazing at taking a sheet and spotting a trend.”
That analysis probably wasn't too challenging a job at Studebaker from 1953 through 1963! :oops: BP