Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley has been elected president of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA, taking over from PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares.
Manley's one-year term will begin on Jan. 1 and is renewable for one additional term. Tavares served as president in 2018 and 2019.
Manley is helping Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann - the head of Italy's Agnelli family which controls FCA - in talks with Tavares to finalize a merger agreement between the two groups which would create the world's fourth-largest automaker.
Manley, born in England, has been CEO of FCA since July 2018, succeeding the late Sergio Marchionne. He has been head of the Jeep and Ram brands, and also served as chief operating officer of FCA's Asian operations.
FCA and PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen, are expected to sign a binding agreement by the end of the year. .
ACEA, based in Brussels, represents 15 Europe-based car, van, bus and truck manufacturers.
In recent years, it has lobbied EU lawmakers to minimize cuts to emissions limits, arguing that more stringent targets do not give automakers enough time to prepare and will cost thousands of jobs in a mass transition to electrification.
That effort was largely unsuccessful, as last spring EU lawmakers approved a 37.5 percent reduction in 2030 from 2020-21 emissions levels. The incoming European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, signaled this week that those targets could be up for review.
ACEA said its priorities for next year included setting a plan on how to manage the transition to carbon-neutral road transport while ensuring the economic sustainability of the European auto sector.
Reuters contributed to this report