Nigel Stein, chief executive of GKN’s global automotive business, will become the next president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) – the UK's auto industry trade body - in January 2011.

The announcement was made at the SMMT's 94th Annual Dinner, which took place at the London Hilton last night.

In his final speech as SMMT president, Joe Greenwell praised the strength and resilience shown by the automotive industry during what has been a 'challenging 12 months'.

In his speech, Mr Greenwell highlighted key achievements for industry, including the extension of the UK's Scrappage Incentive Scheme and the founding of the Automotive Council, which he said have strengthened the automotive industry, helping to establish the UK as a leader in the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles during challenging economic conditions.
 
“I am proud of the progress we have made and I am pleased to say that the Society is in the best financial health in living memory. SMMT is recognised as one of the most influential trade associations in the UK,” said Mr Greenwell. “2011 will continue to see tough conditions for industry, but there are opportunities that exist in the recovering global automotive market, which offer new business opportunities for UK automotive.”
 
Speaking about his appointment as new SMMT president, Mr Stein said: “I am very honoured to succeed Joe Greenwell as president. He’s led SMMT through a tumultuous period for the auto industry. Throughout this difficult time, SMMT has done a superb job in promoting the industry and ensuring it receives the recognition it deserves as an important contributor to the UK economy.”

The SMMT also announced Gordon Murray Design’s iStream manufacturing process as winner of the 2010 Award for Automotive Innovation. 

The Award recognises 'innovative products, technologies and ideas that have the potential to transform the automotive industry'.
 
Receiving the Award at last night’s dinner, Professor Gordon Murray, CEO and Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said: “It is a great honour for the team at Gordon Murray Design to receive the SMMT Innovation Award for our iStream technology. For me personally, the most important message is the recognition that we need innovation in both technical and business sectors to help the UK take the lead in the new ‘green’ industrial revolution that is taking place in the automotive industry.”

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