New chair to drive Automotive Investment Organisation forward

Posted on 13 May 2016 by Jonny Williamson

The Government has announced it has appointed Mike Wright as the new chair of the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO).

The AIO is part of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and specialises in attracting overseas carmakers and automotive component manufacturers to the UK; alongside attracting foreign investment into the automotive sector, investment for R&D, and helping grow UK automotive sector exports.

Wright brings with him unparalleled experience and understanding of the automotive industry. He was previously executive director at Jaguar Land Rover, having begun his career in the automotive industry in 1975 working for Rover Triumph.

He has subsequently worked for the company under various owners continuously for more than 40 years, and held a variety of senior sales and marketing positions in a number of international markets – including four years in Germany.

In his new role Wright will champion the UK’s thriving automotive sector as a destination for investment, and will work alongside Lawrence Davies, recently appointed chief executive of the AIO.

Business Minister Anna Soubry explained: “This appointment is a real coup – there are not many people who can match Mike for sheer depth and breadth of knowledge of British automotive manufacturing.

“Last year was a record-breaking year for the industry and the work of the AIO was invaluable in making that happen. With Mike joining our team, I’m sure we can look forward to more success, more investment and more jobs.”

Mike Wright commented: “The UK automotive industry has had many great achievements in the last few years, but there is still more to be done to ensure its continued growth.”

The AIO finished 2015 by reaching its three year target of creating or protecting 15,000 jobs in the automotive sector ahead of schedule, and also by saying goodbye to Joe Greenwell, the former CEO of the AIO.

Lawrence Davies MBE (former head of purchasing for GM UK) has been acting CEO since Greenwell stepped down, and has been promoted to CEO.

New three year targets for the AIO are set to be announced in the coming months.