The government has appointed Mike Wright as the new Chair of the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO).
The AIO is part of UK Trade and Investment and specialises in attracting overseas carmakers and automotive component manufacturers to the UK. They are also charged with attracting foreign investment into the automotive sector, investment for research and development and helping grow UK automotive sector exports.
Wright brings with him unparalleled experience and understanding of the automotive industry. He was previously Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover, having begun his career in the automotive industry in 1975 working for Rover Triumph. He has subsequently worked for the company under various owners continuously for over 40 years, and held a variety of senior sales and marketing positions in a number of international markets - including 4 years in Germany.
In his new role Wright will champion the UK’s thriving automotive sector as a destination for investment, and will work alongside Lawrence Davies, recently appointed Chief Executive of the AIO.
Business Minister Anna Soubry said:
This appointment is a real coup – there are not many people who can match Mike for sheer depth and breadth of knowledge of British automotive manufacturing.
Last year was a record-breaking year for the industry and the work of the AIO was invaluable in making that happen. With Mike joining our team, I am sure we can look forward to more success, more investment and more jobs.
The new Chair of the AIO, Mike Wright, said:
It is a great privilege to have been appointed Chair of the Automotive Investment Organisation, and I look forward to leading this successful team into its next chapter. The UK automotive industry has had many great achievements in the last few years, but there is still more to be done to ensure its continued growth.
The AIO finished 2015 by reaching their 3 year target of creating or protecting 15,000 jobs in the automotive sector ahead of schedule, and also by saying goodbye to Joe Greenwell, the former CEO of the AIO. Lawrence Davies MBE (former Head of Purchasing for GM UK) has been acting CEO since Joe stepped down and has been promoted to CEO.
Mike Wright brings a wealth of industry knowledge, he has over 40 years’ experience of Jaguar Land Rover brands through their various ownership periods. He is well placed to lead the AIO into its next phase – new 3 year targets are to be set in the coming months.
Notes for editors
- The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) works across government and industry to promote the UK automotive sector abroad, to bring investment into the country, as well as help UK-based companies grow their business by exporting. It focuses on driving foreign investment into the UK supply chain, research and development and motorsport sectors.
- The AIO was one of the first UKTI Investment Organisations. It developed an innovative approach that blended government expertise and networks alongside the same from the private sector. By bringing in senior industry figures it has been able to work in tandem with OEMs across the UK. It identified key components currently imported and targeted overseas companies for UK investment or expansion.
- The AIO has created or protected 17,000 jobs in the auto sector. Before the AIO was established in June 2013, the sector was creating jobs at around half this rate.
- Mike Wright began his career in the automotive industry at Rover Triumph in 1975. He has held a variety of senior positions in a number of international markets - including 4 years in Germany - working for Jaguar Land Rover under the ownership of BAe, BMW, Ford and now Tata. He has been a JLR Executive Director for the last 5 years, responsible for Strategy, Financial Services, Special Operations and CSR.
- Mike Wright’s first public appearance will be at Automechanika Birmingham in June 2016. If you are interested in meeting him, please email AIO@ukti.gsi.gov.uk.
- Joe Greenwell (former Chair of Ford UK) stood down as CEO of the AIO at the end of 2015.