The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has appointed Dr George Gillespie OBE as its 81st president.
The appointment of the executive vice-president of HORIBA Automotive Test Systems (ATS) was announced at last night’s SMMT annual dinner, and he will assume his post on January 1, replacing Tony Walker CBE DL, managing director, Toyota Motor Europe.
Gillespie replaces Walker after a two year tenure and arrives at the SMMT with 25 years’ international experience in the automotive and marine sectors, having previously held senior roles with Ricardo plc and Schenck AG.
He joined MIRA in 2009 as its chief executive, growing the business internationally and leading its sale in 2015 to HORIBA Japan.
Gillespie is Chair of the Intelligent Connected Vehicles Group within the Automotive Council, where he leads activities relating to intelligent and connected vehicles.
He said: “I am extremely honoured to accept the appointment as President of SMMT. It is a pivotal time in our industry to be taking on this role - not only is the global automotive industry undergoing huge amounts of technological change but we have the unique challenges of Brexit and improving air quality to address at the same time.
“My priority will be to support the excellent team here at SMMT, ensuring we continue to lead at the forefront of the industry on all of these challenges and opportunities.
“I would like to congratulate Tony Walker on his successful tenure as President and thank him for his strong support as I take on this position.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The role of SMMT President has a long, prestigious history and we are pleased to welcome Dr Gillespie to be its latest custodian.
“His wide range of industry knowledge will be vital as the sector experiences some of the greatest changes it has ever faced.
“I’d like to thank outgoing President Tony Walker for his hard work and dedication to SMMT, his leadership has been pivotal in ensuring the automotive industry voice is heard and he leaves the organisation well positioned to face the challenges ahead.”
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