John began his automotive career in 1948 as a Zone Manager with the Ford Motor Company. He held a variety of field sales positions before he decided to establish his own car wholesale business and managed several dealerships from 1951-1954.
In 1955 he joined Chrysler Corporation’s Dodge Division and in 1959 was named General Sales Manager.
As Assistant General Manager of the Chrysler-Plymouth Division and Vice President of Chrysler Motor Corporation from 1962 to 1965, he portrayed excellent leadership.
Ford Motor Company secured him again as Vice President-Marketing and Planning, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. in 1965 and in 1967 he was promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Ford Division and in 1968 became a Vice President of Ford Motor Company and General Manager of the Ford Division.
His leadership gained for him the appointment of Group Vice President-Sales for all of Ford’s North American Operations in 1973, a position he held until he retired in 1977.
As one of the automotive industry’s most experienced and knowledgeable sales executives he once again was brought back to Chrysler Corporation in 1980 as Executive Vice President/Sales and Marketing and in 1981 elected to the Board of Directors.
Automobile dealers held him in high esteem as one who is intent on keeping dealer stocks high but worked closely with dealers to assist them wherever possible.
Lee A. lacocca said of John Naughton. “I brought him over to Ford several years ago because he is one of the best automotive sales executives in the business. I’m bringing him back to Chrysler for precisely the same reasons.”
He served in the United States Navy Air Corp service in World War II, holds honorary doctor of law degrees from Xavier University and Southern Colorado State College.
Many awards have been given to him for his many accomplishments and devotion to the automotive industry.