Carlos Tavares, CEO of Groupe PSA, has been named the 2020 World Car Person of the Year
The Person of the Year is chosen by 86 World Car Awards (WCA) jurors from 24 countries – including South Africa’s Charleen Clarke, who is also editorial director of FOCUS.
Tavares’ many significant accomplishments over the past year made him the jurors’ choice over several other hugely impressive auto industry executives, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs from all around the globe.
Among those accomplishments, as CEO of Groupe PSA, Tavares has made its brands’ portfolio respected world-class players, returned the company to profitability, and returned Opel to profitability in record time.
He also negotiated a merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that will create the fourth-largest automaker in the world by volume and will better balance the combined entity’s global presence, all while masterminding the integration of electrification and mobility and strengthening market development in China and beyond.
In addition, as one WCA juror commented, “His calm, dignified, modest and highly effective approach puts some other executives to shame. At the heart of (his success) is an understanding of customer needs, but it’s all backed with incredible business acumen. That he still manages to be a decent bloke is icing on the cake!”
Tavares is, quite understandably, happy to receive the award. “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award, which I wish to dedicate to all the employees of the Groupe PSA, to its responsible and demanding social partners and to the supervisory board which guarantees effective governance. Because our values ‘win together, agility, efficiency’ include the strength of the collective power, it is in the name of all of us that I accept your honour with humility,” he noted.
Previous World Car Person of the Year recipients were Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO, Volvo Car Group (2018) and the late Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA; chairman, CNH Industrial; and chairman and CEO, Ferrari (2019).
The World Car Person of the Year award is just one of six awards handed out annually by the World Car Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognise, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.