New SMMT President announced at 100th annual dinner

Time 12:30 pm, November 30, 2016

OUTGOING president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Gareth Jones (pictured) has revealed that Tony Walker, deputy managing director of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, will be his successor.

The announcement was made during SMMT’s 100th annual dinner, which was held at London’s Grosvenor House last night.

Jones said: ‘I’m honoured to be SMMT’s president but it’s time to hand over to someone new.

‘I’m delighted to announce that the 80th and next SMMT president is Mr Tony Walker. Congratulations, Tony. We all wish you much success.’

Previously, Walker held a post as one of SMMT’s six vice-presidents and will take up his new position as president at the start of 2017.

At the end-of-year event for the 114-year old motoring industry body, Jones reflected on a tumultuous 2016, but remained positive on his outlook for the future of the industry.

He added: ‘For more than a century, the SMMT has been the voice of the UK automotive industry. And, as you’ve just seen, we’ve been as busy as ever addressing challenges, seizing opportunities and promoting this great industry. But the issue is, of course, Europe.

‘The challenge now is to make a success of the new future. We want to see new trading agreements established. We want a strong UK economy and we want to see the UK’s influence in the world enhanced.’

Also announced at the event was the winner of the ‘Next Generation Award’, which was won by University of Sussex mechanical engineering student Joshua de Wit.

De Wit won the prize after designing a stacked graphene battery concept that could dramatically reduce costs, weight and storage capacity. He will now embark on a six-month work experience tour at six of the industry’s major players, such as Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren Automotive.

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