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

John Bozzella helped marshal support for Chrysler's government bailout in the U.S.
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WASHINGTON -- International automakers have a new top lobbyist in Washington: John Bozzella, an auto industry veteran who helped generate support for Chrysler's government bailout before leaving the company in 2009.

Bozzella will start April 1 as CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, a coalition of 12 automakers including Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota.

The group is the main Washington lobbying force for Asia- and Europe-based automakers, particularly on issues -- such as import tariffs -- where they have divergent interests from the Detroit 3.

Bozzella comes to Global Automakers from an affiliate of Chrysler's former owner, private-equity firm Cerberus. Before that he represented Chrysler in pushing for the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program and on the development of new corporate average fuel economy standards.

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America and chairman of Global Automakers, said in a statement that Bozzella's experience in auto policy made him a "natural choice."

"We are confident he will successfully advance our members' efforts to foster an open and competitive automotive marketplace that encourages investment, job growth, and innovation," Lentz said.

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

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

In 1990, at the 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 company for 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 company through its ill-fated acquisition by Cerberus before joining Cerberus in 2009.

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

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