The World Car Awards jurors have voted Carlos Tavares, CEO of the PSA Group, as the winner of the 2020 World Car Person of the Year award.
The 61-year-old Tavares was due to receive the award in person at the New York International Auto Show on 8 April but the event has been pushed back to August thanks to concerns around the coronavirus.
So, how did the Portuguese businessman beat “several other hugely impressive auto industry executives, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs” to the gong? Well, the organisers say Tavares has transformed the brands (that'd be Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall) in the PSA Group’s portfolio into “respected world-class players”, while also returning the company to profitability (and returning Opel to profitability in "record time", too).
He also negotiated a merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, all while “masterminding the integration of electrification and mobility” and strengthening market development in China and beyond.
“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,” said one WCA juror.
Tavares described it as “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”.
Previous World Car Person of the Year recipients were Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of the Volvo Car Group and the late Sergio Marchionne.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.