Great British Women In Automotive Roles

Great British Women In Automotive Roles

Great British Women in the Car Industry is an initiative that’s coordinated by Autocar in partnership with the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), supported by headline sponsors CDK Global, Nissan and Toyota alongside support partners Peugeot and the VW Group.

The 2019 event was held in London in June and included keynote speeches from Laura Schwab (Aston Martin President of the Americas) and Judy Murray OBE (tennis coach, British Fed Cup captain, popular Strictly Come Dancing contestant and famous Mum of Jamie and Andy).

The Overall GB Automotive Winner

Emma King, senior purchasing manager of EV battery cells for Ford, was chosen from the nine category winners as 2019’s overall winner, having made a significant contribution to the company’s $11bn electrification strategy.

Emma began her automotive career as a commercial vehicle buyer at Ford’s UK base, transferring to Ford HQ in Chennai in India to lead the powertrain purchasing function for Asia.

Last year, she relocated from Chennai to Ford HQ in Dearborn, USA and noticed a few dramatic cultural differences in her lifestyle.

Chennai is hot and humid all year round. I then experienced my first Michigan winter. I thought UK winters were cold but now I know – they are not.”

Another shock was Ford’s early morning meetings.

“It’s part of my routine now, but the 6.30am meetings were a surprise! In Chennai, I was used to working late into the evenings. You find very different working practices from region to region.” 

Not that Emma is often in Dearborn now. She leads a global team of nearly 20 buyers based predominantly in the US and China which means she spends a lot of time on the road in Asia, the US and Europe.

It’s important to get to know your suppliers and you can achieve a lot in face-to-face meetings.” she explains.

It also means you are able to assess manufacturing plants and quality but also build personal relationships.”

Emma manages the overall sourcing of EV batteries across the US, EU and China.

Great British Women in the Car Industry Winners

The list of winners by category is below.

Overall Winner
Emma King, Ford

Zoe Lawson, Marshall Motor Group

Olivia Kaye, Renault UK

PR & Communications
Camilla Scanes, Audi 

Emma King, Ford

Laura Brunker, McLaren Automotive

People Development
Nev Hart, Jardine Motors Group

Buki Okoro, Ford

Vehicle Development 
Hilary Andrew, Aston Martin

Aftersales and Workshop
Charlotte Dafe, Jardine Motors Group

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