Bozzella, ex-Ford, Chrysler exec, named CEO of Global Automakers

Bozzella was picked to head the Association of Global Automakers to foster an open and competitive automotive marketplace that encourages investment, occupation development, and innovation.

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WASHINGTON — Global automakers have a new best lobbyist in Washington: John Bozzella, an auto industry veteran who helped to marshal support for Chrysler’s government bailout just before leaving the company in 2009.

Bozzella will start April one as CEO of the Association of International Automakers, a coalition of twelve automakers which includes Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota.

The group is the main Washington lobbying force for Asia- and Europe-primarily based automakers, especially on concerns — this kind of as import tariffs — exactly where they have divergent interests from the Detroit 3. In an interview, Bozzella mentioned he needs to help give these organizations a powerful voice befitting of the funds they have invested right here and their vehicles’ reputation in the United States.

“They have an tremendous financial footprint,” he explained. “For me, this is an exciting chance to genuinely provide them with a trade association leadership that is equal in its reach and influence to their industry success.”

Bozzella comes to Worldwide Automakers from an affiliate of Chrysler’s former owner, private-equity company Cerberus. Ahead of that he represented Chrysler in pushing for the Division of Energy’s Innovative Engineering Vehicle Manufacturing loan program and on the development of new corporate regular fuel economic climate requirements.

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America and chairman of International Automakers, explained in a statement that Bozzella’s experience in car policy created him a “natural option.”

“We are assured he will successfully advance our members’ efforts to foster an open and competitive automotive marketplace that encourages investment, job growth, and innovation,” Lentz mentioned.

Bozzella replaces the retiring Mike Stanton, a respected deal-maker who led Worldwide Automakers for 7 years.

Bozzella, who studied labor relations at Cornell University, started his profession lobbying the New York state legislature on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers.

In 1990, at the tender age of 27, Bozzella became New York City’s legislative affairs director in Albany under then-Mayor David Dinkins.

He joined Ford Motor Co. in 1994, staying with the organization for much more than a decade in a number of public policy, communications and labor relations positions.

He jumped to DaimlerChrysler in 2005 as vice president of external affairs and public policy for the Americas, staying with the organization via its ill-fated acquisition by Cerberus ahead of joining Cerberus in 2009. But he had an itch to return to the car industry.

“I’m a car man,” Bozzella stated. “I never ever quite received the motor oil all the way out of my veins.”

You can attain Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com.

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