BMW sales chief Ian Robertson says that the auto industry's next-generation leaders will need to have open minds and international backgrounds.
These characteristics will be crucial as automakers adapt to megatrends, he said.
One example is the growing number of people in megacities such as London who want a mobility solution -- such as a car-sharing scheme -- rather than the responsibility of car ownership.
Robertson discussed the topic of future leadership in the industry during his keynote speech to the Automotive News Europe Rising Stars on Monday in Geneva.
"We need to embrace new thinking," Robertson said. "The industry has a great past. It's our job to create a great future."
Following Robertson's speech, past recipients of the Rising Star award met with the Automotive News Europe editorial team to choose the 2014 Rising Star class. The final voting is done annually on the eve of the Geneva auto show.
The Rising Star award, now in its fourth year, honors young automotive executives with pan-European profiles who have driven change, fostered innovation and made courageous decisions.
The 2014 winners will be honored on June 3 at a gala dinner in Brussels, Belgium, on the eve of the Automotive News Europe Congress.