The organization representing the U.K. automotive industry reaches into the policy and public affairs sector to hire its next top executive

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says Michael Hawes will be joining as its new CEO in the early fall, moving from Bentley Motors, where he held a number of public-relations, corporate and public-affairs roles.

Hawes has more than 20 years’ experience in policy and public affairs, most of it in the auto industry. He has also worked for Toyota and Bentley’s parent, Volkswagen.

In his new role, Hawes will lead an executive team that will promote the interests and successes of the U.K. motor industry and help address the challenges of the current climate. He also will ensure the SMMT delivers stronger representation and engagement with all its stakeholders.

Hawes says SMMT is a highly respected and influential trade association.

“My role will be to build on this reputation and grow the value and range of services provided to our members,” he says in a statement.

Hawes will take over from Mike Baunton, who has been interim CEO since the end of January, when 5-year CEO Paul Everitt departed for a position outside of the automotive sector.