Roger Putnam, chairman of Ford of Britain, has today been announced as the next president of SMMT. He succeeds Tod Evans, former chairman, Peugeot Citroën Automobiles UK Ltd, in leading the motor industry trade association for the 12 months from June 2005.

Commenting on today's announcement, Roger Putnam said: "I am proud and honoured to become SMMT president for 2005-06. The industry faces some significant challenges in balancing the needs of its customers, in coping with regulatory pressures, and in dealing with a challenging manufacturing environment. I want to play my part in ensuring that issues like skills, R&D and productivity are given the profile they deserve."

He added: "I want to thank Tod Evans for his direct contribution and positive role during his two terms as SMMT president, particularly in bringing a new direction to the British International Motor Show. He has been an outstanding servant of the industry for many years and I wish him well in the future."