Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) have elected Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and chairman and CEO of Fiat Group Automobiles, as the association’s president for 2012.

“The year 2012 will be challenging especially if the instability in the eurozone would not be addressed,” said Marchionne. “Our association will further focus its work on three main issues: European industrial policy; sustainable mobility and transport; and international trade relations. These issues are all closely linked as the industry’s capacity to invest and innovate depends on a strong, competitive manufacturing base in Europe.”

Marchionne takes over from Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, who served in 2010 and 2011.

“The European automotive industry is a major employer and invests over EUR30bn in R&D per year – more than any other industry in Europe”, noted Zetsche. “The importance of our industry must be reflected in the union’s economic, transport and trade policies.”

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