Graham Morris, 48, Rolls-Royce chief executive
Former Audi sales and marketing boss settled in as head of the luxury-car legend in 1997. His plans almost certainly include an expanded product lineup. But will the new owner - still to be determined - choose Morris to lead Rolls into a new era?
Gary Cowger, 50, GM Europe manufacturing vice president
Will replace David Herman as Opel chairman this spring after a few months overseeing GM's European plants. Ex-GM Mexico boss brings impressive manufacturing credentials to Europe, where quality problems have hurt. Cowger steered Mexican operations through a currency crisis and made GM the sales leader for the first time.
Jim Donaldson, 54, Ford of Europe chief executive
Dearborn dusted off the old job of president of Ford of Europe for this Scottish-born US light-truck executive. Will launch a new Escort in '98 and continue cost-cutting drive begun by Jacques Nasser. Must breathe new life into European operations, while not forsaking company's Ford 2000 global dream.
Lars Brorsen, 45, Micro Compact Car chief executive
Career TRW executive who joined Micro Compact Car 12 months ago is in for the ride of his life. He'll bring out the Smart in October, six months later than planned, because of new concerns over the two-seater's stability and sub-assembly deliveries by suppliers.
Bob Hendry, 53, Saab chief executive
While launching the 9-3, Saab's crucial successor to the 900, he'll have to decide about future products in new segments. Wants to boost sales by penetrating traditionally weak Saab markets and solving brand identity dilemma.
Chris Knight, Lotus chief executive
Installed by Proton owners with orders to put Lotus back on the automotive map. The Elise is selling well, but this ex-oil executive must convince carmakers that Lotus' engineering services are still high-grade.
Jean-Martin Folz, 50, PSA chief executive
New chairman plans to reshape PSA following Jacques Calvet's 13-year regime. Expected to give more product development and marketing independence to Peugeot and Citroen divisions, while unifying their plant operations. With Toyota coming to France, and Renault bearing down, Folz will need all his strategic powers.