Despite a traumatic finish to 2008 because of the fallout from the global economic crisis, last year was extremely calm in one area: changes at the top.
Most of the people who were leading Europe biggest automakers at the start of 2008 remain in charge today. The big question is: How many of those executives still will be in those posts at the start of 2010?
If sales and production continue to slide as predicted and profits deteriorate further, there will be some CEOs looking for new jobs.
When a company hires a new chief, that person usually likes to build a new team, which usually leads to even more turnover.
Automaker bosses around the world are under pressure. They need to develop and launch solutions that protect their companies against an economic slowdown that many executives say is the worst they have seen.
For some, the best solution may be to move to a new company. Analysts say that General Motors Europe President Carl-Peter Forster might decide to switch jobs because of the troubles facing GM in the US.
At 54, Forster, who joined GM subsidiary Opel from BMW in 2001, might want to end his career at an automaker that is on the rise.
While Forster is likely to have many options if he decides to leave GM, others might not be as fortunate.
One current auto CEO acknowledges that the executives who cannot come up with the right ways out of the crisis will have to move aside.
Some people will lose their right to lead. Some of them have been leaders for a period of time that is well in excess of their capabilities, Sergio Marchionne, Fiat group CEO, told Automotive News Europe. And that may include me. I am cool and clinical about this. I recognize that the world has changed.
We look at the biggest challenges facing 10 Europe-based auto executives. We also provide predictions for each mans future in his current position.
Here you will find a comprehensive list of the men and women who hold the most powerful jobs in the European auto industry.