The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has begun a search for a new chief executive.
Paul Everitt will be moving to a new position outside of the automotive sector at the end of January 2013.
The SMMT said the recruitment process for a new CEO is underway.
An appointments committee is made up of SMMT president, Nigel Stein, Tim Abbott (president-elect), Joe Greenwell (deputy president) and Graham Smith (past president).
In the interim, Mike Baunton, chairman of SMMT Industry Forum will act as interim chief executive.
SMMT president, Nigel Stein commented, “Paul has made a tremendous contribution to SMMT over the last five years. We are sorry to see him go. The appointments committee has already met and is determined to find the right person to guide the organisation through its next stages of development.”