SMMT names first female president

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has named Alison Jones as its 82nd and first female president.

Jones is the senior vice president and Stellantis country manager UK for Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Jeep and Alfa Romeo.

She will take up her role on 1 January, taking over from Dr George Gillespie OBE, chairman, HORIBA MIRA.

She said: “I am proud to be appointed the SMMT president in 2022. It continues to be pivotal and exciting times for our industry as we drive technological developments and customer experiences, respond to regulatory changes, and adapt to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and post-Brexit world. 2021 has continued to be challenging and demonstrates why it is key we have a strong trade body such as SMMT to represent and drive progress for us all, advancing our interests with governments and organisations, and to ensure we have a positive impact for our members, industry, country economy and people in our communities.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive SMMT said: “I’m delighted to welcome Alison to the role of SMMT President as its first female custodian. Her many decades of automotive industry experience will be vital as the sector navigates a path to recovery from the pandemic while at the same time dealing with the rapid shift to electrification and global supply chain challenges. The fact that she is the first female president after 120 years is significant but indicative of just how much more we need to do to improve the diversity of our sector. I’d also like to thank George Gillespie for his extended tenure during the pandemic. Seldom has there been such a difficult time to be SMMT president and his expertise and support have been invaluable both to me and the entire SMMT team.”