Click on the plus sign to read the biography of each speaker.

Pierpaolo Antonioli

Managing Director & Executive Director Global Diesel Sector
General Motors


Pierpaolo Antonioli has a technical background in electrical / electronic, mechatronic and control engineering. He was named managing director of the General Motors engineering center in September, 2009. Located in Torino (Torino Polytechnic Campus), it has more than 700 employees. GM Torino has global responsibilities for the development of diesel engines, diesel electronic controls and diesel hybrid technologies for passenger car applications for the whole GM Corporation. Moreover, Mr. Antonioli holds global responsibility inside GM for development of diesel engines.

Mr. Antonioli is also responsible for maintaining relationships with local, regional and national authorities in order to support and facilitate all the industrial development initiatives in which GM can contribute as an active partner of the Italian Automotive Industry.

Mr. Antonioli is a member of the Advisory Board for the Attraction of Foreign Investment of Confindustria (Italian Industrial Federation) and he is a vice president of Unione Industriale (Industrial Federation) of Torino.

Since July 2016, he has been chairman of CEIP (a Regional Company whose shareholders are the Region, the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Turin and the University) dedicated to attracting hi-tech foreign investments in the region and to promote the excellence of existing regional companies outside the country.

Greg Archer

Director, Clean Vehicles
Transport & Environment


Greg Archer leads campaigns for clean vehicles and sustainable energy for Transport & Environment, a Brussels based Federation of over 50 campaigning organisations working for sustainable mobility. A veteran of fights on vehicle emissions regulations, testing and biofuels he is a bÍte noire for the car and oil industries with a reputation as both a fierce campaigner and technical expert. A strong advocate for electric vehicles, Mr. Archer established the Electromobility Platform and previously worked in the UK in a variety of posts in universities, consultancy and Government bodies on a range of environmental issues.

In addition to his work for T&E, he is also president of ECOS, the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation.

Joerg Astalosch

Chief Executive Officer
Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A.


Joerg Astalosch was born in Germany in 1972. His career within the Volkswagen Group began in 1988 in Wolfsburg. After an apprenticeship and studies he worked in various roles in Procurement and General Management.

From 1999 he worked for the Chief Executive Officer of the Volkswagen AG, from 2002 for the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. In 2004 Astalosch was appointed Head of Controlling and Finance of Audi of America and Audi Canada; from 2007 he worked as a General Secretary to Rupert Stadler at Audi AG.

Later that year he started to work again for the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. From 2012 to 2014 he was Chief Financial Officer at MAN Truck & BUS AG, Munich, where he was responsible for controlling, accounting, IT, legal, export control & foreign trade issues and treasury.

From mid 2014 to 2015 he worked again directly for Volkswagen Group's Supervisory Board Chairman.

He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Italdesign since September 2015.

Massimo Bovi

Head of Pre-Series Center


Massimo Bovi is the head of the Pre-Series Center at Italdesign.

Mr. Bovi's career started with Fiat Geotech after he graduated in mechanical engineering from Politecnico of Turin.

He worked for different American multinational companies in various roles in quality and production. He started at Italdesign in 1998 as plant manager of the prototype tooling and body in white Italian subsidiary. In 2003, he took on the role of director of operations, extending his responsibility to procurement, maintenance, logistics, model shop and prototype final assembly. Mr. Bovi was named head of the Pre-Series Center in 2010.

Antonio Casu

Chief Technical Officer


Antonio Casu is the chief technical officer for Italdesign, a position he was appointed to in November 2016.

Mr. Casu began his career at Italdesign in 1998 where he worked in various roles for different customers worldwide within technical development. By 2005, he was responsible for the body exterior development department and in 2011 he was appointed head of upperbody development, including exterior, interior development and A-class surfacing. Between 2013 to 2016 he worked at Audi in Ingolstadt as upperbody development project manager. In August 2016 he took over the upperbody development responsibility at Italdesign in Moncalieri.

Mr. Casu earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering by the Politecnico of Turin.

Mark Cousin

Head of Flight Demonstrators for CTO


Mark Cousin began his career in 1986 at British Aerospace Regional Aircraft in the Future Projects department.

From 1986 to 1994, he worked on a wide variety of Future Projects on regional aircraft, business jets and the predecessor to the Airbus A400M then known as the Future Large Airlifter (FLA).

From 1995 to 1998, he worked in Toulouse and Beijing on the AIA100 seater aircraft project with AVIC of China.

He joined Airbus in 1998, moving to Toulouse in 2000 to head up the Airbus UK Flight Test Support team for the A340-600. In 2003 he was appointed as head of the A380 Mise au Point (MAP) team providing engineering support to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) and Flight Test department for the A380. In 2008 he was appointed as head of systems integration test in the Flight and Integration Test Centre.

He was appointed to the role of technical director, Beluga XL in January 2015 to design and build the next generation of outsize air transport aircraft for Airbus based on the A330.

Mark Cousin graduated from Southampton University in aeronautics and astronautics in 1986.

Lapo Elkann

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Garage Italia


Lapo Edovard Elkann was born in New York in 1977. After studying in France and England and gaining experience as assistant to Henry Kissinger, he was appointed worldwide brand promotion director for Fiat Group. In this role, he successfully carried out several projects in below-the-line marketing and participated in the relaunch of the iconic Fiat 500 minicar.

In 2007 he undertook the entrepreneurial path founding a lifestyle brand "Italia Independent", a creative factory "Independent Ideas", and the Holding "Italia Independent Group", which was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in June 2013.

In 2011 he started a collaboration with Ferrari to create the Tailor Made Unit.

In March 2015 he founded Garage Italia, a customization service for the motion industry.

In July 2013 he was inducted in the Automotive Hall of Fame, the American institution dedicated to preserving and celebrating outstanding automotive achievement.

He is member of the Board of Directors of Ferrari.

Arantxa Alonso FernŠndez

Business Development Officer


Arantxa Alonso was named the business development officer at SEAT in May 2016. She is responsible for identifying, designing and operating new business opportunities for SEAT.

M Ms. Alonso has an engineering and marketing background, with more than 15 years experience in the automotive industry. She is passionate about the challenge of redefining mobility and is aware that the biggest innovations and disruptions might only be found when looking from a different perspective, with the eyes of new partners.

Arantxa Alonso received an engineer's degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Politťcnica de Madrid and a master's degree in automotive product engineering from Cranfield University, both in 2000.

Thomas Ingenlath

Chief Executive Officer


Thomas Ingenlath was appointed chief executive officer of Polestar on 17 June 2017, and leads the Polestar management team. He also holds the dual-role of chief design officer for the Volvo Car Group.

Mr. Ingenlath joined Volvo Car Corporation on 1 July 2012 as vice president design, arriving from a position as head of the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, Germany.

Prior to joining Volvo, he has 20 years' experience from the automotive industry, after completion of design studies at the Fachhochschule fŁr Gestaltung in Pforzheim and the Royal College of Art in London. He worked in top design positions at Audi (1991-1994), Volkswagen (1995-2000) and Skoda (2000-2006). From 2006 he was the director for design at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, designing for all brands of the Volkswagen Group.

John Krafcik



John Krafcik is the CEO of Waymo, a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy to move people and things around. Waymo was formed in December 2016 with the goal to improve transportation for people around the world, building on software and sensor technology developed in Google's labs since 2009. In October 2015, Waymo achieved the world's first fully self-driving trip on public roads, in a car without a steering wheel or pedals.

Mr. Krafcik brings long experience in the automotive/technology space to the team, including broad operating experience in sales & marketing, product development, technology, and manufacturing, with stints at NUMMI, Ford, Hyundai and TrueCar.

Previously, Mr. Krafcik spent 10 years in leadership positions at Hyundai Motor America, including 5 years as president and CEO, where he was responsible for the strategic direction and management of the company's U.S. operations.

Mr. Krafcik holds an M.S. in management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he wrote two "lean production" manifestos -- "Triumph of the Lean Production System" and the "Running the Factory" chapter of "The Machine That Changed the World."

Peter Mertens

Member of the Board of Management - Technical Development
Audi AG


Peter Mertens was born on March 30, 1961, in Bielefeld, Germany.

After completing his studies of Production Engineering at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, he earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the United States in 1985.

From 1985 to 1990 Dr. Mertens headed the Technology Transfer department at the University of Kaiserslautern and received his Dr.-Ing. (Doctor of Engineering) degree.

In 1990 Dr. Mertens started his career in the automotive industry. He held multiple management positions with Mercedes-Benz AG, prior to taking over management of Tegaron Telematics GmbH, a joint venture of Daimler Chrysler Services AG and Deutsche Telekom AG, in 1996.

In 2002 he joined Adam Opel AG, first as executive director for midsize and large product lines. In 2004 he became responsible for the compact product lines of General Motors Europe and, starting in 2005, for all compact product lines of General Motors worldwide.

In 2010 Dr. Mertens joined the Management Board of Jaguar Land Rover and headed Corporate Quality for the entire Tata Motors Group, including the Jaguar Land Rover brand.

From March 2011, Dr. Mertens assumed responsibility for research and development as senior vice president, research and development for the Volvo Car Group.

Since May 2017, Dr. Mertens has been a Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG with responsibility for Technical Development of the brand with the four rings.

Andy Palmer

President and Chief Executive Officer
Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.


Dr. Andy Palmer, CMG, is the president and chief executive officer of Aston Martin. He joined the business on October 1, 2014.

Dr. Palmer is a British-born chartered engineer, chartered manager and businessman with 37 years of automotive industry experience. He is an indentured apprentice and graduated from Warwick University with a master's degree (MSc) in product engineering in 1990, and acquired a doctorate (PhD) in management from Cranfield University in 2004. He is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 2010, Coventry University awarded Dr. Palmer an honorary doctorate of technology and in 2014 he was appointed professor, advising the university in the automotive field. Dr. Palmer is also and industrial professor at Warwick University (2015), a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute CCMI (2105) and the first winner of the Cranfield Univeristy "The Distinguished Manufacturing Alumnus/a of the Year Award" (2106).

Prior to joining Aston Martin, Dr. Palmer held the post of chief planning officer at Nissan Motor Co and was a member of the Nissan executive committee. He held a number of senior positions with the Japanese car manufacturer over the course of a 23-year career with the firm. These roles included corporate planning, product planning, marketing, sales & IT leadership and chairman of Infiniti from 2011.

Dr. Palmer started his professional career in 1979 as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK). After six years with Austin Rover, he joined Nissan.

In the 2014 New Year's Honours list he was named a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) in recognition of services to the British automotive industry.

After completion of his first 150 days as chief operating officer of Aston Martin, Dr. Palmer announced the company's six year "Second Century" plan. A comprehensive strategy for the transformation and growth of Aston Martin, the plan laid out a series of mid-term actions, particularly in the area of new product development that will drive the growth of the company. The plan will see the entire range of current models replaced and expanded with the introduction of a new car every nine months through 2020. The first car to be launched from the "Second Century" plan, the DB11, was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show. In addition to the new product plan, Dr. Palmer has secured new investment for the company, announced a second manufacturing facility at St. Athan in Wales to build a new crossover vehicle and created a breakthrough partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies that will co-create the AM-RB001 hypercar.

Ponz Pandikuthira

Vice President, Product Planning
Nissan Europe


Ponz Pandikuthira is vice president of product planning for Nissan in Europe, where he is responsible for the development of the full Nissan product line-up in Europe and Russia.

He joined the company in 2012 but has been passionate about cars ever since he was 15 and read Lee Iacocca's autobiography - the man best known for turning around the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation in the 1980's. Later in his career he was attracted by Nissan based on its truly international top management team and Carlos Ghosn's complete turnaround of the company since 1999.

Mr. Pandikuthira believes that the reduction of tailpipe emissions, changing ownership structures, and alternative mobility solutions will dominate the next decade of development within the industry. He says that Nissan is well positioned to play a leading role in this rapidly changing environment.

Mr. Pandikuthira began his career as an engineer for Schneider Electric in 1994, then moving to Chrysler, in Detroit, in 1996, to pursue his dream of working on developing new cars. His career within the industry has taken him through a series of roles of increasing responsibility from Manufacturing, Engineering, Product Startegy, Product Planning, Brand Marketing, Executive Operations, Product Portfolio Management and heading the Commercial Vehicle Business unit. He has worked for the Chrysler Corporation (Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge Brands), DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Cerberus owned Chrysler, Fiat-Chrysler, Kia and then Nissan.

Prior to joining Nissan in 2012, Mr. Pandikuthira headed Kia's Product Portfolio in Europe through their European Market expansion between 2009 and 2012. Prior to his current role as VP of product planning, he was the head of Nissan's Commercial Vehicle Business Unit and before that he was the chief marketing manager for Nissan's Crossovers, C-segment and Sports Cars.

He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Coe College in the USA, a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, a master's degree in automotive engineering from the University of Michigan and an executive MBA from INSEAD.

Filippo Perini

Head of Design
Italdesign Giugiaro SpA


Filippo Perini was born 1965 in Piacenza (North-eastern Italy).

From 1993 through to 1995 he worked as a freelance designer for Alfa Romeo, FIAT Auto, MET Helmets, Aprilia, BCS, Ferrari, Castoldi Jet, Cantieri Nautici, Off Corse and as a consultant for FAST (a Federation of Scientific and Technical Associations).

In 1995 he joined the Alfa Romeo Design Centre, where he worked on the interior and exterior design of GTV and Spider, as well as their Restyling versions, 156, 166, the concept car Nuvola and the SUV Kamal. In 200 I he was appointed Director of the Exterior Design of Alfa Romeo 159 and of the SC Competizione concept car.

After two years, in 2003, he joined AUDI AG as Exterior Designer and the following year, 2004, was appointed Lamborghini Head of Exterior Design for projects such as Miura Concept, Murcielago LP 640, Murcielago LP 640 Roadster, Gallardo, Concept S. Since 2006 Filippo Perini is the Director of the Automobili Lamborghini Centro Stile, where he managed extremely successful projects such as Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, Revent6n and Aventador as well as new concept cars and advanced projects.

In September 2015 was appointed Head of Design at ltaldesign.

Xavier Peugeot

Director of Product Planning


Xavier Peugeot joined the PSA Peugeot CitroŽn Group in 1994 where he held a number of positions in sales and marketing, including director of the Peugeot Netherlands subsidiary between 2005 and 2007, and director of marketing and communications for the Peugeot brand between 2009 and 2011. He was named director of product planning for Peugeot in 2012 and made a major contribution to building a global, coherent product range for the brand. He was appointed to his current position as director of product planning for CitroŽn in November 2014.

Mr. Peugeot holds a master's degree in management from the Sorbonne and a post-graduate diploma from Dauphine University (Paris, France).

John Simlett

Associate Partner, Strategy Practice


John Simlett is an associate partner at EY in the Strategy Practice, specializing in innovation and mobility. He holds an MSc in Economics from the London Business School where he was president and an honors degree in English Literature from the University of Wales.

Mr. Simlett joined EY having been a managing partner at Corporate Value Associate, strategy director of Inchcape, managing director of Retail Solutions and a consultant at Strategic Planning Associates (now Mercer Management Consulting). He concentrates on strategy assignments and has worked extensively in the automotive, financial services, government and oil sectors.

Mr. Simlett has been an invited advisor to the British Prime Ministerís office and a speaker at a number of conferences and industry associations. He has particular knowledge of the Mobility Arena and a deep understanding of customer and behavioral economics through both primary research and extensive knowledge of the academic literature.

Mr. Simlett has been heavily involved in advising on a wide range of strategy issues for car manufacturers where topics have ranged from operational efficiency, pricing strategy through E-commerce market entry strategy, customer satisfaction studies, network and representative strategy, to block exemption for selective and exclusive distribution and franchising.

Roberto Vavassori



Roberto Vavassori is the president of CLEPA, the European automotive suppliers association. He assumed the role in 2016.

He is also a member of the Management Board of Brembo, the Italian multinational brake system specialist, and the director for Business Development and Marketing.

He joined Brembo in 1986, being involved in different departments and responsibilities, and since then, he has contributed to the development and growth of the entire organization. Among his tasks, he was responsible for the listing of Brembo at the Milan Stock Exchange in 1995 and some twenty M&A projects.

He is deputy chairman of the JV between Brembo and SGL Group, and he serves on the boards of various subsidiaries. Mr. Vavassori is also the chairman of ANFIA, the Italian Automotive Association. Under his tenure the association underwent a significant overhaul for both governance and operating structure, as well as financial and economic results.

He is also member of the Board of Confindustria, the Italian Employers Association, taking part in the Internationalization Committee.

Mr. Vavassori was a CLEPA vice president and he has been a member of the CLEPA Board of Directors since 2004.

He holds a degree in Business Administration.

Max Warburton

Head of Global Automotive Research


Max Warburton is the head of global automotive research at investment research firm Bernstein. He has followed the auto industry for over 20 years, advising investors, corporates and government on auto industry financing and strategy. Mr. Warburton worked on MIT's International Motor Vehicle Program from 1998 to 2000, where he specialized in auto manufacturing efficiency analysis. He then became a sell-side analyst, first at Goldman Sachs from 2000 to 2005 and then at UBS from 2005 to 2008. He joined Bernstein in 2008.

Max Warburton has been consistently the most highly ranked European autos analyst for more than a decade. He was based in Asia from 2012-2016 where he added coverage of Chinese and other Asian automakers, before returning to London.

Annette Winkler

Vice President, Head of smart
Daimler AG


Since September 2010, Dr. Annette Winkler is head of the smart product division within Daimler AG, with total overall responsibility for the smart brand. She reports to Britta Seeger, Member of the Board Mercedes-Benz Cars and responsible for Marketing & Sales.

At Air Liquide S.A., Dr. Annette Winkler holds a supervisory board position since 2013.

After training as an industrial clerk Dr. Winkler studied Business Management in Frankfurt, where she obtained her Doctorate in 1986. From 1984 to 1995 she was the managing shareholder of a medium-sized construction company.

In 1995 she started her career at what was then Daimler-Benz AG as head of public relations and communications for Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, and from 1997 to 1999 she was head of the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlet in Braunschweig. After that period she became chief executive officer (Chief Executive Officer) of DaimlerChrysler Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels. From 2006 to 2010 Dr. Winkler was responsible for managing Daimler's entire sales network as head of global business management & wholesale Europe in Stuttgart.


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