Automotive News 2012 All Stars

China is slowing. Europe's economy is in a free fall. And the North American auto industry, though greatly outpacing the U.S. economy, could trip off the fiscal cliff. Through all the challenges around the globe, a few leaders have thrived. Here are our annual Automotive News All-Stars, leaders who led the industry during challenging times.
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2012 Automotive News All-Stars
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Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe: MARTIN WINTERKORN, CEO, Volkswagen Group

Martin Winterkorn, the 65-year-old perfectionist who has run Volkswagen since 2007, is steering the 12-brand group toward becoming the world's biggest and most...
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CEO, North America: SERGIO MARCHIONNE, CEO, Chrysler Group

Europe's faltering economy has grabbed a large share of Sergio Marchionne's attention this year for obvious reasons.
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CEO, Asia: TAKANOBU ITO, President, Honda Motor Co.

After a dismal year in which sales were hammered by the earthquake in Japan and the redesigned Civic drew lackluster reviews, Takanobu Ito, 59, put Honda back...
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U.S. Executive, Asian Automaker: JIM LENTZ, CEO, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

Jim Lentz has guided Toyota through some rough terrain -- the hit to its image from the 2010 unintended acceleration crisis, followed by the 2011 earthquake...
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U.S. Executive, European Automaker: JONATHAN BROWNING, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America

Jonathan Browning is more than halfway to the group's target of 1 million annual U.S. sales by 2018.
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Supplier: TAKASHI HATA, CEO, Jatco Ltd.

Nissan Motor Co. has been on a tear, boosting fuel economy across its product lines, and Takashi Hata's Jatco Ltd. gets a big piece of the credit.
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Dealer, Publicly Held: EARL HESTERBERG, CEO, Group 1 Automotive Inc.

The nation's fourth-largest dealership group set records for profits, revenues and stock price this year.
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Dealer, Privately Held: KENNETH SCHNITZER, Park Place Dealerships

As chairman of the Dallas-based Park Place Dealerships, Kenneth Schnitzer, 59, operates Jaguar Plano, named the nation's best dealership to work for in 2012 by...
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Sales: REID BIGLAND, CEO, Dodge brand & Chrysler Canada; head of U.S. sales, Chrysler Group

Chrysler Group dealers have a name for the hamster wheel they run on each month to continue Chrysler's 31-month string of year-over-year sales gains.
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Finance: GEORGE BORST, CEO, Toyota Financial Services

Other banks and captive finance companies pulled back when times got tough, but Toyota Financial Services under George Borst, 64, doubled down with Toyota...
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Marketing: JIM FARLEY, Group vice president of global marketing, sales and service, Ford Motor Co.

Jim Farley, 50, is responsible for everything from reviewing the 2013 Ford Fusion launch campaign to overseeing parts distribution in Thailand.
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Purchasing: BOB SOCIA, Vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors

Before his reassignment in September to run General Motors' China operations, Bob Socia did heavy lifting to repair supplier relations that were among the...
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Service and Parts: PIETRO GORLIER, CEO, Mopar brand service, parts and customer care, Chrysler Group

As global head of Chrysler's Mopar parts and service brand, Pietro Gorlier, 50, preaches the importance of weekend service hours to Chrysler Group dealers.
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Design: MORAY CALLUM, Executive director of Americas design, Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co.'s North American design studios have been busy.
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Government Affairs: JOHN TERZAKEN III, Director of Criminal Enforcement, U.S. Justice Department Antitrust Division

John Terzaken III's name is little known in the automotive industry, but his actions are well-known.
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Remarketing: SANDY SCHWARTZ, President, Manheim

Since Sandy Schwartz took charge in March 2011, Manheim has been changing with the times and embracing technology.
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Product Development: ULRICH HACKENBERG, Board member for development, Volkswagen Group

Ulrich Hackenberg, 62, is showing competitors how to slash development costs, cut production time and react faster to market trends
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Manufacturing: ATSUSHI NIIMI, Executive vice president, Toyota Motor Corp.

Last year's earthquake and tsunami left Toyota Motor Corp.'s factories and network of 650 suppliers in shambles.
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Environmental: Margo Oge, Director of Transportation and Air Quality, EPA

Margo Oge, 63, retired from government service in September having helped make peace with automakers on fuel economy.
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Engineering: JB Straubel, Chief technology officer, Tesla Motors

JB Straubel, 36, is the technical and engineering architect behind the Tesla Model S, an electric sedan with a real-world 230-mile range that seats five,...
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Public Relations: MARC CANNON, Senior vice president, corporate communications and public policy, AutoNation Inc.

High-energy PR man Marc Cannon, 51, keeps AutoNation in the forefront of industry coverage. Having an outspoken CEO in company chief Mike Jackson doesn't hurt.
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Minority: KEVIN BELL, Senior Manager, diversity supplier development, Chrysler Group

Many automakers give lip service to boosting business opportunities for minority suppliers, but Chrysler Group's Kevin Bell put some teeth into the effort.
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Advertising: SAAD CHEHAB, CEO, Chrysler and Lancia brands; Chrysler Group

Saad Chehab, 45, pulled off an unusual feat: He hit back-to-back home runs in the Super Bowl. Or, more accurately, his commercials did.
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