• Nov 28, 2012
Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently "success in the face of economic uncertainty," or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China. See the list below, and you'll understand why:
  • Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe – Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen Group (above): The VW boss started with the German automaker in 2007, overseeing a staggering 12 brands. Under his leadership, sales of Volkswagens have gained in both China and America. VW has also expanded production to America and grown its operations in Brazil. Winterkorn is a very hands-on executive, traveling to America six times to test and tweak the American-built current-generation Passat. Volkswagen is aiming to be the largest and most profitable automaker in the wold by 2018, and Winterkorn will stay on through that time, making him accountable for those goals.
  • CEO, North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound? The Fiat and Chrysler chief has bestowed dealers with a wealth of new product, and the American automaker is expected to post $1.5 billion in profits this year, in spite of economic turmoil in Europe.
  • CEO, Asia – Takanobu Ito, President, Honda Motor Co.: In addition to leading the Japanese automaker through the aftermath and destruction of a tsunami, Takanobu Ito has overseen the revival of the NSX sportscar and the emergency facelift of the Honda Civic. He has also stated the company is looking to grow to six million in global sales in the next four years. Big plans, but he has also delivered up to this point.
  • US Exec, Asian Automaker – Jim Lentz, CEO Toyota Motor Sales USA: Lentz has endured as Toyota's US boss through the 2010 unintended acceleration issue, and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Through all of this, the Toyota Camry is still America's best-selling car, and profits are on the rise. Success in the face of crisis, indeed.
  • US Exec, European Automaker – Jonathan Browning, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America: The 53-year-old Englishman came over to head up Volkswagen of America two years ago. Since then, VW sales have increased here at a rapid pace, and the brand has opened the Chattanooga plant to build the Passat. The plant is expected to expand to produce a mid-sized crossover (Tiguan perhaps?) for the US market.
To see the rest of the AN All-Stars, as well as previous year's winners, click through to the link below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      MF
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think it's too early to praise Jonathan Browning for any of VW's North American success.. Everything positive for VW has been set in motion by the previous guy in my opinion.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL, no crooked Hyundai or KIA.
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      "North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound?" It doesn't sound impressive at all when you consider a) their sales fell off the cliff in 2009 and had nowhere to go but up and 2) they had their debt eliminated thanks to the US taxpayers and could focus a tremendous amount of money (not needed to pay debt or bondholders) on marketing and product development.
        dukeisduke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Plus, every product they've rolled out except for the Dart was already in the pipeline before Sergio was gifted Chrysler by our government, for a piddling $4.5b. The deal of the century. And now Marchionne says Fiat doesn't have the cash to buy the remainder of Chrysler? That should tell you what Fiat's real financial situation is, and it ain't good.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      You guys need to get over Sergio buying a controlling stake in Chrysler for the price he did. Who the hell was stepping up to the plate when Chrysler was going off a cliff with bad leadership? Ford? GM? Any other large automaker? I supposed they should've been peddled at a higher price to another incompetent hedge fund for further mismanagement. If turning Chrysler around would've been so easy and profitable, any other major automakers wouldve grab that easily attainable marketshare. The reality is that NOBODY wanted that task after they were ransacked and gutted by Diamler. Sergio stepped to the plate saw the potential and steered the ship back to a course of profitability. During the processed they've had some of the best advertising, and quickest product development in the industry. Get over it already.
        Cory Haggard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        You, my friend, are spot on. Couldn't have said it better myself. I absolutely love what Sergio is doing and I cannot wait to see what they have to unveil in Detroit early next year.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      wooootles
      • 2 Years Ago
      False. Elon Musk should be in each and all of those categories.
      singularity
      • 2 Years Ago
      How is Elon Musk not on here? The Model S was awarded MotorTrend Car of the Year and is widely acknowledged to be a huge leap forward in automotive engineering. Considering that it is only the company's second car and that the company is less than 10 years old, Musk's success seems nothing short of outstanding. If it has been challenging for massive 80+ year old company to turn a profit in this economy, it has been exponentially harder for a tiny start-up in the automotive industry to be successful (especially given that, until recently, it has been running on venture capital and the CEO's personal cash).
      Quest
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honda, Toyota, VAG and Sergio for getting Chrysler for nothing - the steal of the century - well played Mr M. As with KBB from where it really matters - the wallet. Simply, money talks and BS walks somethings never change. ;-)
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Darth Vader pictured.
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