With talk of Mary Barra as one of four potential successors to Dan Akerson as CEO of General Motors, it seems like ripe time to take a step back and acknowledge the most powerful women in the auto industry. Fortune made that easy for us by compiling a top-10 list, and sitting at the top is no other than Mary Barra.

That was a no-brainer, after watching her "No more crappy cars" speech at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in October, but who would fill out the rest of the list and in what order remained a mystery.

But as Fortune's list points out, the most powerful women in the auto industry make a diverse crowd, with communications and marketing executives, a professional racecar driver/celebrity, engineers and even a CEO of a major Canadian parts company (Linamar). Take a look below to see who made the list, then head over to Fortune if you want a brief description of why they're considered to be at the top of their game:
  • Mary Barra - GM, Executive vice president global product development and global purchasing and supply chain
  • Grace Lieblein - GM, Vice president global purchasing and supply chain
  • Julie Hamp - Toyota Motor North America, Chief communications officer
  • Danica Patrick - Racecar driver
  • Alicia Boler-Davis - GM, Senior vice president global quality and global customer experience
  • Barb Samardzich - Ford Motor, Vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe
  • Chris Barman - Chrysler Group LLC, Vehicle line executive
  • Linda Hasenfratz - Linamar, CEO
  • Trudy Hardy - BMW of North America, Vice president of marketing
  • Elena Ford - Ford Motor, Vice president global dealer and consumer experience

UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the source as Forbes. This has been corrected.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      Titansfan1967
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM has a lot of women in power
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Want to get a lot of attention and praise for being fourth or fifth best qualified? Be female in a male dominated sport/industry. xD
      themant61
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thankfully, the woman who destroyed Saturn, Jill what's-her-name, is not on the list. She heads the list of auto infamy.
      hduque8843
      • 6 Months Ago

      None of them are worth it. Women are not car people, or Army people.

      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leave it to Fortune magazine to give JapanInc a token with no power.
      pappy303
      • 1 Month Ago

      The only reason this Danica even remotely placed is that the male drivers were told not to crowd her or bump her so she could advertise "PEAK" antifreeze, she is no driver and shouldn't even be considered a NASCAR competetor

      Alex Taylor
      • 1 Year Ago
      The list of the Ten Most Powerful Women was published on CNN/Money.com, not Forbes, and was written by a senior editor at large at Fortune, not Forbes. Please check your facts and correct.
      Jsinclair39
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting how the article omits the current Ford of Canada President and CEO, Diane Craig. I would think that would rank pretty high on the list.
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pastrami on a rye, some good mustard, hold the conversation. NOW.
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not surprised that many of them are based in the US, or part of a US-Based company.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        Advertising money talks.
        Eeti
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        Thats because this whole ranking is heavily biased towards US.
      Sean Conrad
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think women are very underrepresented in the executive offices in the US, and probably much of the world. That said, I can't wait for the day when we don't have to have articles like this, because a specific gender in a specific role won't be unusual.
      Mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      A woman name hamp. Mphhmmmmm
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