Autocar names top 100 women in the British car industry

Alison Jones, UK managing director and senior vice-president of the PSA Group, has won Autocar’s Great Women in the British Car Industry 2020 initiative, held in partnership with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Jones also came top of Autocar’s Executive category, alongside 11 other category winners from the Top 100, which recognises the 100 most influential women in the British car industry today. Outstanding individuals across the categories, which include Marketing, Sales, Design and Manufacturing, are celebrating their achievements today at a virtual live event.

See the full list of Top 100 Great Women in the British Car Industry 

Linda Jackson, former Citroën global CEO and current executive vice-president of the PSA Group, is inducted into the Great Women Hall of Fame as its inaugural member, as recognition for having won the initiative twice before and for her illustrious achievements in the industry.

An Apprentice category, also sitting outside the Top 100, celebrates the rising stars at the beginning of their careers in the automotive industry.

Great Women winner Jones has been in the industry for more than 20 years, spending the majority of her career at the Volkswagen Group. Starting in customer services in 2000, she became finance director in 2004 and eventually rose to the position of managing director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. Last year, Jones was appointed UK managing director and senior vice-president of the PSA Group, overseeing Peugeot, Citroën and DS in the UK.

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “Alison has a formidable track record in the industry over many years. She played a key role in helping steer Volkswagen through the emissions scandal and towards electrification. Now, she has already shown what she is capable of at the top of the PSA Group in the UK, leading its three brands into a new age of electrification and tougher regulations while also handling the Covid-19 crisis with aplomb.”



SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes commented: “We are pleased and honoured to continue our association with Autocar and its Great Women in the British Car Industry initiative. Looking across the Top 100 list, we can see women leading and excelling in all aspects of the industry, from vehicle engineering to production, sales, marketing and beyond.”

Hawes added: “There’s much more we need to do to improve all aspects of the sector’s diversity, but it is role models such as those recognised here who can help ensure our sector is an exciting and inspiring place in which to work, attracting the best and brightest for the future.”

This year’s virtual event features a panel debate with some of the industry’s biggest names chaired by Prasher, alongside appearances from PSA’s Linda Jackson, Bentley board member Astrid Fontaine and former England Women’s cricket captain Clare Connor.

You can view the Top 100 by visiting The social media hashtag for the initiative is #AutocarGreatWomen

The full list of category winners is as follows:

Design – Lisa Reeves, head of interior design, Volvo Cars

Executive – Alison Jones, group managing director and senior vice-president, PSA Group UK

Government affairs – Helen Foord, head of government relations and public policy, PSA Group UK

Manufacturing – Josephine Payne, Craiova vehicle operations assistant plant manager, Ford

Marketing – Michelle Roberts, marketing director, BMW UK

Mobility and digital – Paula Cooper, director, Consumer One, Toyota GB

Operations – Sue Slaughter, director, global material cost and supply base sustainability, Ford

People development – Alison Clarke, chief human resource officer, Inchcape PLC

PR and communications – Nikki Rooke, vice-president, communications, Volvo Cars

Sales, manufacturers – Paula Stevenson, director of sales operations, Aston Martin

Sales, retail – Angela Shepherd, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Retail Group

Vehicle development – Danella Bagnall, vehicle programme quality director, JLR