Hawes will lead the executive team that will promote the interests and successes of the UK motor industry and help address the challenges of the current climate.
He joins the SMMT from Bentley where he held a number of PR, corporate and public affairs roles, and takes over from interim chief executive Mike Baunton.
‘I am very proud to be joining the SMMT as its new chief executive,’ said Hawes. ‘The SMMT is a highly respected and influential trade association, valued by all stakeholders. My role will be to build on this reputation and grow the value and range of services provided to our members.
‘There is a strong organisation in place and I look forward to working with SMMT employees, as well as our partners and European colleagues, as the industry continues to develop.’
Tim Abbott, SMMT president, said: ‘I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Mike Hawes as SMMT’s new chief executive. Mike brings a tremendous amount of expertise, both in terms of automotive industry experience and the skills necessary for the job.
‘I would also like to thank Mike Baunton for his support as interim chief executive of SMMT since the end of January. He has provided the leadership the organisation needed during this time and will continue his engagement with SMMT as chairman and non-executive director of SMMT Industry Forum.’