Rolls-Royce has announced a changing of the guard in its North American office. Stepping out of his role as North American regional president is Eric Shepherd (pictured). In his place, the uber-luxe British automaker is bringing in Pedro Mota, who comes by way of Porsche Cars North America, where he served as the west coast regional vice president.

Mota holds an MBA from European business school INSEAD, and a Master's in electrical engineering from Lisbon Technical University. He'll join Rolls-Royce with almost immediate effect on October 1 to learn the ropes before taking over on January 1, 2016 - the day after Shepherd vacates the office. The company was rather unspecific in disclosing what Shepherd will be doing next, saying only that he'll be staying "within the Rolls-Royce family" in a "new entrepreneurial role in the super-luxury automotive retail sector."

The shift in leadership in the North American office at Rolls-Royce comes as the automaker prepares to role out new models. It's now in the process of adding the new Dawn convertible to the Ghost/Wraith family. It's also preparing to launch its first SUV, known internally as project Cullinan, into a burgeoning new market segment for ultra-luxurious crossovers. It's an area with which Mota, having helped move so many Cayennes and helped introduce the new Macan through West Coast dealers, ought to be intimately familiar.

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LEADERSHIP TRANSITION AT ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS NORTH AMERICA

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that President (North America), Eric Shepherd, has decided to move to a new entrepreneurial role in the super-luxury automotive retail sector within the Rolls-Royce family.

Chief Executive, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, said, "Eric's move is a big loss to our successful business at Rolls-Royce North America but we are highly supportive of talented managers like Eric pursuing personal business opportunities, particularly when it means they stay within the Rolls-Royce community. Eric's dynamic leadership of our North American operation has been highly effective. He has established a strong team and cohesive network which has led to a substantial strengthening of our business in the region."

Shepherd will continue in office as President of Rolls-Royce NA until 31 December 2015. He will be succeeded by Pedro Mota who will join Rolls-Royce NA from Porsche Cars NA where he served as Vice President, Area West. Mota holds an INSEAD MBA and a Master's Degree in electrical engineering from Lisbon Technical University. Rolls-Royce Sales and Marketing Director, Fintan Knight, said, "Pedro is a highly experienced, international executive who has made the US his home. He has a strong understanding of the luxury car business and of the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing shareholder value in North America. We look forward to him joining our global Rolls-Royce family and leading our North American team."

Mota will join Rolls-Royce NA 1 October 2015 which will allow time for an induction and familiarisation with the company before taking over full control of the region on 1 January 2016.

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