The 82nd President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) will be Alison Jones, Senior Vice President and Stellantis Country Manager UK for Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Jeep and Alfa Romeo. The announcement was made this evening at SMMT’s 104th Annual Dinner, which took place in London. Previously SMMT vice-President, Alison officially takes office on 1 January 2022, replacing Dr. George Gillespie OBE, Chairman, HORIBA MIRA, thereby becoming SMMT’s first female President.
Dr Gillespie steps down at the end of 2021 after completing his extraordinary three-year tenure, the normal two-year term having been extended amid the coronavirus pandemic to enable him to provide continuity and guidance at a time of unprecedented challenge and change for the automotive industry.
Alison Jones said,
I am proud to be appointed the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (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.
Alison Jones FCCA MCMI was appointed Senior Vice President and Stellantis Country Manager UK for Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Jeep and Alfa Romeo in March 2021. Previously she served as Group Managing Director UK and Senior Vice President Groupe PSA from February 2019, having joined from Volkswagen Group, where her most recent position was Managing Director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
Alison has previously held a variety of senior management positions within the Volkswagen Group, including Group Aftersales and Customer Quality Director across Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles; Sales Director for Audi UK; Financial Controller (Director equivalent) for Volkswagen UK; and Aftersales and Customer Services Director for Volkswagen UK. She worked her way up through the Volkswagen group business over 21 years, moving between different disciplines, building her automotive knowledge and leadership skills, driving results through large teams.
Alison is also a Vice President for the Institute of Customer Service, a role she has held since 2013, representing the Automotive sector.
Dr. George Gillespie OBE, Chairman HORIBA MIRA said,
It has been a real honour to serve as President of SMMT and I’d like to thank Mike and the team for their fantastic support over the past three years. I’d like to welcome Alison as new SMMT President, I know she will do a fantastic job and her expertise and guidance will prove invaluable as we look to address our challenges.
Despite what has been one of the most turbulent periods in history, our industry has delivered over 115 zero emission capable models, inspiring the public to buy electric vehicles in greater numbers than ever before. As we look to the future, the infrastructure challenges are myriad, yet they also present an opportunity to transform the mobility sector and deliver long term economic growth for the UK. I am confident the UK automotive sector will continue to lead from the front in the race to Net Zero.
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.