4. J MAYS (56, American)
Global design VP and chief creative officer, Ford
Key cars: Audi Avus, VW Concept 1, 2005 Ford Mustang
Ten years ago, Mays was responsible for eight brands: Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, and Volvo. With Volvo's sale to Geely earlier this year and Mercury's announced demise, the only brands left are Ford and Lincoln. Still, those two marques represent some 4.5 million vehicles annually, and globally Ford is in better overall design shape than it's been for decades, due in no small part to Mays's direction and execution of the One Ford global policy -- the acclaimed European Fiesta's entry into the U.S. market is just one example. Add in his legacy of successful concepts -- the 1991 Audi Avus led to the TT and the 1994 VW Concept 1 to the new VW Beetle -- his ability to nurture (and poach) design talent to work with him (Martin Smith, Freeman Thomas, Peter Horbury, Laurens van den Acker), plus thoroughbred production-car designs like the Land Rover LR3 and the Aston Martin DB9, and you have a man who still wields heavyweight clout.