Joe Greenwell, Ford of Europe's vice president, Governmental affairs will be the next president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) with effect from January 1, 2009.
Greenwell will succeed Graham Smith OBE, senior vice-president Toyota Motor Europe who will be stepping down at the end of his two year term.
Greenwell said: "I am under no illusions about the severity of the challenges that we face. The economic downturn is having a major impact on our industry and there may be worse to come.
“Our sector is a vital part of the UK economy. I shall be working hard with the SMMT team and industry colleagues to raise awareness of our position and to promote proposals for seeing the industry through these very difficult times."
Greenwell, who has held his current post at Ford since 2005, was chairman and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, having previously been vice president, marketing and operations, for Ford of Canada and Ford of Mexico.