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Former Chrysler boss to be head of ACEA

by Bill Cawthon on

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Chrysler during much of the DaimlerChrysler era, has been elected as the 2016 president of the ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA = Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles). He will succeed Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.


Dr. Zetsche, or “Dr. Z” as he was known in Auburn Hills, was head of of the Chrysler Group from 2000 to 2005, when he left to become the chairman of DaimlerChrysler.

The president of the ACEA is elected from the CEOs and chairmen of the association’s member companies. The president serves a one-year term, but can be reelected.  Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was the ACEA’s president for two terms, from 2012 to 2013.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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