'British execs in the car industry continue to overachieve on the global stage'

The influence of Brits on the cars we buy and dream about is greater than ever, says Steve Fowler

While the debate continues about Britain’s position on the European political map – for the record, in our online poll 50 per cent of Auto Express readers said they’d vote to leave the EU and 34 per cent wanted to remain in – our fifth annual Brit List reveals the most influential British executives on the global car stage.

If anything, the influence of Brits on the cars we buy and those we dream about is greater than ever. Brits have always over-indexed in the most senior positions, due in no small part to our culture – as this year’s number one Brit, Mike Manley, told us, being able to understand and work with different cultures comes naturally to Brits. And, he says, that’s thanks in no small part to our proximity to our neighbours – living in Europe we get to travel to different countries and cultures all the time.

Manley has done an incredible job at Jeep, as sales bear out: up from 320,000 in 2009 to 1.23 million in 2015. That success has brought him even greater responsibility within Fiat Chrysler.

2016 Brit List: top 50 UK car execs named

I was lucky enough to go and spend some time with him at the company’s HQ in the US. The way he’s developing Jeep is hugely impressive and something he doesn’t take lightly – there are few brands more cherished by Americans and car fans across the world. Yet Manley is doing it in a very measured, determined and British way – with warmth and good humour.

Our number two Brit, Linda Jackson, is also busy reigniting a famous foreign brand, Citroen. She’s also the highest-placed woman ever on our Brit List. Brits may over-index in the car business, but women are still under-represented. Both Jackson and Manley are fine examples to young Brits of both sexes just what can be achieved in the car business.

What do you think about Britain's future in the car industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020