Alan Mulally, Ford CEO

Motor Trend has compiled and released its annual Power List. This is the seventh year in which MT ranks the names of heaviest hitting personalities in the automotive industry. They're all ranked in order of just how much juice they hold, and sitting at the top of this year's list is Alan Mulally.

Ford's CEO was previously ranked No. 10 in 2009 and rose to No. 2 last year, but this year, MT has him sitting in the pole position. Their argument? Mulally has moved Ford into a place of profitability as well as quality in both design and engineering. In the magazine's words, "every Ford competitor needs a leader like Alan Mulally."

Ford didn't just see a win with Mulally earning the top honor. The automaker saw 10 of its employees in total make the 2011 Power List. General Motors is right behind them with nine folks earning recognition. After those two, the nearest competitor is Volkswagen with six people spread out across VW, Audi and Porsche.

The last few years have seen a flip-flopping trend between domestic and import bosses rising to the top spot on the power list. The 2010 edition saw VW's Ferdinand Piëch as the numero uno automotive player and he's still strong for 2011 with a fall of just one spot to claim the number two position. In 2009, Rick Wagoner was number one before free-falling off the list, and in 2008, Takeo Fukui of Honda sat at the Power List peak.

It's not just team leaders like Mulally and Piëch who make the annual Power List. Well-regarded Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik checks in at No. 10, five spots down from his boss, Chung Mong Koo, Hyundai's global chairman. Peter Schreyer, head of design for Kia is ranked 13th overall and climbed way up from last year's rank of 44th. Doug Parks is GM's vehicle line executive for the Chevrolet Volt, and making sure that car arrived on time and in impressive fashion has landed him in the No. 20 spot.

You don't even need to work for an automaker to make the list because Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson is ranked the 49th most powerful automotive figure... in the world.

The top 10 are as follows:
1. Alan Mulally (CEO, Ford)
2. Ferdinand Piëch (Chairman of Supervisory Board, Volkswagen AG)
3. Carlos Ghosn (President/CEO, Nissan/Renault)
4. Martin Winterkorn (Chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen AG)
5. Chung Mong Koo (Chairman, Hyundai)
6. Mark Reuss (President, GM North America & Vice President, GM)
7. Lewis Booth (CFO, Ford)
8. Derrick Kuzak (Group VP Product Development, Ford)
9. Sergio Marchionne (CEO, Fiat/Chrysler)
10. John Krafcik (Hyundai USA, CEO)

Head on over to Motor Trend to read about all 50 players on their 2011 Power List, and then stop by the comments to leave your two-cents about what you think of the list.

[Source: Motor Trend]