SMMT chief awarded OBE

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the automotive industry in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

He joined the SMMT in 2013 and since then has led the industry through a period of technological, structural and geopolitical change.

To tackle the growing skills gap, he was an influential advocate in the creation and work of Mission Automotive, which places ex-service personnel in jobs across the sector, signed SMMT to the Armed Forces Covenant and saw the organisation receive a Gold Award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

He also plays a pivotal role in the Automotive Council, which fosters collaboration between government and the automotive industry.


Hawes said:

“Receiving such an award for services to the industry I love and have spent so much of my life championing is a huge honour. It is one I share with a dedicated and talented team at SMMT and a UK industry which wants to be the best. The past few years have been anything but smooth, but the UK sector has proven itself resilient, adaptable and, as ever, incredibly innovative. This recognition reinforces the importance of the industry and SMMT itself, and I would like to thank everyone with whom I have worked for their unfailing commitment and support.”

Mick Flanagan, SMMT president, added: “It is fantastic to see Mike’s enormous contribution to the British automotive industry recognised in His Majesty’s Birthday Honours List. Mike has devoted his career to our sector, promoting our interests, defending us when necessary and always seeking to create the conditions that would see the UK industry compete at home and abroad.

“His leadership of SMMT has seen some significant challenges – political, economic and, most importantly, once in a century technological change. He has managed them with calmness, diplomacy and unwavering good humour, and I am sure that everyone at SMMT and in the wider industry would congratulate him on this much merited recognition.”