Macgowan, who has served in the role for eight years, said he has reached the point in his life where he wants to pursue different things “not just one full-on job”.
“It will be business as usual for the next seven months and I intend to leave at the top of my game,” said Macgowan. “Being chief executive of the SMMT is arguably the best job in the industry, but it is also all-consuming.”
Before joining the SMMT Macgowan led the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF). He has also worked for other automotive firms, including British Leyland and Massey Ferguson.
He remains president of industry charity BEN and is a council member of Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the global vehicle manufacturer’s body.
In May Macgowan gave the SMMT’s backing to the government’s Act on CO2 campaign.
This was despite research commissioned by the society showing that low CO2 emissions are less important to buyers than annual running costs.
“It seems that the pocket is still more important to buyers than the environment. This is why it is so important that we continue to preach the message that low carbon cars and low cost motoring go hand-in-hand,” said Macgowan.