Auto people were on the move in 1998. The announced retirment of Mercedes-Benz design legend Burno Sacco and Lou Hughes' departure as General Motors' Zurich-based international boss marked the end of eras. Here is a look at some of Europe's executive arrivals and departures in the year:
Jan Brentebraten: The Norwegian-born former Ford executive is the first non-Japanese head of Mazda Europe.
Walter De' Silva: The man who brought new life to Alfa Romeo design will try to work the same magic at Volkswagen's Seat subsidiary.
Mike Flewitt: The 36-year-old former head of Rolls-Royce's plant in Crewe, UK, will run AutoNova, the Volvo-TWR joint venture that builds C70 coupes and convertibles in Sweden.
Paolo Fresco: Fiat Group's new chairman is concentrating on strategy, globalization and international agreements. Some think his mission is to find a merger partner for Fiat.
Michael Burns: The former head of Delco Electronics replaced Richard Donnelly as president of General Motors Europe.
Didier Leroy: The former Renault manufacturing executive got the top job at Toyota's new plant in Valenciennes, France.
Werner Saemann: BMW's powertrain chief takes over at Rover Group. Analysts say he will provide a close link to Munich.
Hartmut Kieven: The former Ford executive took over sales and marketing for Nissan Europe after a stint running Nissan Germany.
Walter Hasselkus: The man BMW sent to lead Rover in 1996 resigned in November, taking the blame for mounting losses.
Graham Morris: The Rolls-Royce chief announced his resignation after Volkswagen and BMW split the Rolls and Bentley brands. He said he was quitting on principle because he had assured workers that production of Rolls-Royce models would remain in Crewe, U.K.
Lou Hughes: General Motors' Zurich-based head of international operations was transferred to Detroit. His division was later disbanded in a corporate reorganization and Hughes is now overseeing new business opportunities for GM.
David Herman: The former top man at GM's Opel unit moved to a new post as head of GM's fledgling Russian operations. Some called a demotion, but Herman said he was happy to go to Moscow.
Bruno Sacco: The head of design at the former Daimler-Benz will retire in March after more than 40 years with the company. The Italian led a revolution in the look of Mercedes cars during his 11 years as styling boss.