Ford and racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart have agreed to formally end their association at the end of the year.

Ford and racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart have agreed to formally end their association at the end of the year.

"I'm 65 years old and it's the right time for me and Ford to start a new chapter with new challenges," said Stewart, whose relationship with Ford spans four decades.

As a driver, Stewart won three Formula One titles with Ford in 1969, 1971 and 1973 before becoming a consultant for Ford and several other companies. The partnership peaked in 1996 when Stewart launched his own racing team with Ford’s backing.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company’s group vice president of design, J Mays, will be moving to the European operation, where he will become the chief creative officer focused on the company’s Premier Automotive Group brands.

Mays will move from Ford’s Dearborn Michigan headquarters to its London offices, located in Soho. His new job will allow him to work more closely with the Jaguar and Land Rover designers while concentrating on Volvo, which has been without a chief designer since Hendrik Otto’s departure earlier this year.