Nick Reilly, chairman and managing director of Vauxhall Motors, will today be inaugurated as the new president of the SMMT.
He succeeds John Neill CBE, chief executive of Unipart Group of Companies in the honorary role, and will lead the motor industry trade association for the next 12 months.
Commenting on his appointment Mr Reilly said: "I am delighted and honoured to take on the influential role as president of the SMMT at a time of great challenge and opportunity for our industry.
"I look forward to working with my counterparts in all sectors of our industry to show the vital contribution we've made, and will continue to make, to the creation of wealth and prosperity for the British economy.
"But, we're all responsible for the world in which we live. As an industry we have to ensure that we can sustain and develop companies that take their social and environmental responsibilities as seriously as the balance sheet. As president of the SMMT, I will continue to champion the groundbreaking Sustainability Strategy which is helping to ensure a prosperous future for all UK industry.
"SMMT has a key role to play in telling people about the strategic contribution that our industry makes to the British economy. I hope that we will be able to play a leading and constructive role in this process with the Government. The result should be a more creative and dynamic relationship, from which we will all gain.
"I want to thank John Neill for his statesmanlike and positive role during his term as president."