Third term for SMMT President Dr George Gillespie OBE

The 81st President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Dr George Gillespie OBE, Executive Chairman HORIBA MIRA, will serve a third term in 2021 to provide continuity and leadership at a time of tremendous challenge for the automotive sector. The announcement was made this week at SMMT 2020 Update Live, an online event held on the day the 104th SMMT Annual Dinner would have taken place in central London.

Gillespie HORIBA COM 1

Dr Gillespie first took office on 1 January 2019, replacing Tony Walker CBE DL, Managing Director, Toyota Motor Europe – London Office – now retired, who also stays on for a third year as deputy president, with his term running until the end of next year. Both will be supported by a team of vice presidents, which includes existing member Robin Shaw, Executive Advisor, wejo, plus three new additions for 2021:

  • Micheal Flanagan, Vice President, Commercial Group,Adient
  • Alison Jones, Group Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Groupe PSA
  • Glenn Saint, Chief of Commercial Vehicles, Arrival

Dr George Gillespie OBE said, 

 “I am delighted to have been asked to serve one more year as SMMT President in 2021. It is perhaps more vital now than ever before that the sector has a strong trade body and I am immensely proud of how SMMT has stepped up to defend our industry and advance its interests in the face of so many hurdles. After a really tough 2020, I look forward to 2021 with confidence that the UK’s automotive sector, which is built on such strong foundations, will be on the road to recovery, helping the country build back together.”

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said,

“On behalf of all in the industry, I would like to express our gratitude to George for his sterling support during what has been the most testing year of the century, with the industry badly affected by coronavirus while facing significant changes in technology and trading conditions. I am delighted he has kindly agreed to stay on for a third year as SMMT President as I recognise the challenges of balancing his existing global responsibilities with Horiba with those of SMMT. George’s knowledge and experience will help provide stability throughout 2021 and, together with the new SMMT vice presidents whom I warmly welcome, will help stand us in good stead amid the myriad challenges ahead.”

Dr Gillespie has some 25 years’ international experience in the automotive and marine sectors, having previously held senior roles with Ricardo plc and Schenck AG. He joined MIRA in 2009 as CEO, growing the business internationally and leading its sale in 2015 to HORIBA Japan. Today, HORIBA MIRA is one of the leading global providers of engineering, research, development and testing services to the automotive industry. He has a PhD from Queen’s University, Belfast, for research into low emission engines and is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.