ACEA announces leadership change

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has named a new Director General.

Dutch national, Sigrid de Vries, has accepted the position, effective 1 September 2022, following a decision by the ACEA Board of Directors. She will manage the association that unites Europe’s 16 major car, truck, van and bus makers at the EU level.

Eric-Mark Huitema will leave ACEA after a three-year period.

Huitema, Director General of ACEA since 2019, will leave ACEA as of 31 August 2022 on his own accord.

“My time as ACEA Director General was a rewarding and positive period of transformation for the European automobile industry and our association,” he said

“I would like to thank my team, as well as all ACEA’s members, for the close and trusted cooperation. It was an honour for me to be part of the industry’s transformation, to lead ACEA’s transition, and to represent ACEA members in this leadership role. After three rewarding years, I have decided to pursue new objectives.”

Oliver Zipse, President of ACEA said: “We respect the decision of Eric-Mark Huitema and wish him continued success in the future. During his tenure, he played a strong role in representing the European automobile industry as a progressive player that embraces the objectives of the EU’s Green Deal.

“The appointment of Sigrid de Vries will serve to strengthen the automobile industry’s proactive role as a player committed to climate-neutral mobility and a digital and resilient economy. She is an experienced leader with a strong track record in both industry and association positions, as well as being a respected counterpart to our European stakeholders. The members of ACEA and I look forward to working with her closely in the future.”

Since 2017, de Vries has been Secretary General of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), where she will end her assignment in August.

Prior to this role, de Vries worked in communications and public relations for ACRA (2006-2012) and started her career as a reporter and correspondent.

In other news, ACEA reported registrations of new commercial vehicles in the European Union (EU) fell by 27.1 per cent in April 2022.

All vehicle segments saw a decline with four key EU markets suffering significant losses which contributed to the sharp fall: Spain (-36 per cent), Germany (-30.5 per cent), France (-28.6 per cent) and Italy (-17.5 per cent).

Four months into 2022, sales of new commercial vehicles in the EU declined by 20.3 per cent, with last month’s negative result pulling down the cumulative performance further. Three out of the region’s four largest markets recorded double-digit drops. Spain saw the steepest fall (‑31.8 per cent), followed by France (-23.6 per cent) and Germany (-16.5 per ent). Italy posted a more modest decline (-7.7 per cent).

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