The chairman of Nissan North America Inc. is considered the lead contender to be Carlos Ghosn's successor as CEO of the Japanese automaker. His future likely will ride on the success of the Nissan Leaf launch in the United States.
The family scion pulled Toyota Motor Corp. back into the black while guiding it through its worst crisis in half a century. Now Toyota's president has to prove that the company is back on track, while balancing his demands to make its cars sportier and simultaneously chop costs.
Last year LaHood, secretary of transportation, offended or enraged almost the entire industry at one point or another. Now, as President Barack Obama seeks to work with a Republican-controlled House, LaHood has to decide whether to continue to court controversy.
Dealers say Honda's marketing isn't good enough. With crucial launches of the Civic and CR-V coming, Center, Honda's chief marketing officer, is in the spotlight as he oversees longtime agency Rubin Postaer and Associates' work.
Hyundai Motor America's CEO faces the challenge of leading the surging brand into the U.S. luxury market. But will he stay at Hyundai? The Korean automaker has a habit of booting managers who don't meet rising targets, and other brands are expected to woo him.Chris Liddell
General Motors Co.'s CFO has to manage the finances of the automaker's first year back as a public company, while sorting out a finance department that regulators have blasted as being hugely chaotic.
C.J. O'Donnell and Max Wolff
As the marketing and design team charged with making Lincoln viable, they have a heavy burden -- and not much time to deliver.
Steve St. Angelo
The head of Toyota's widespread North American manufacturing operations has the added burden of being the region's quality czar. In years past, that would have been an easy add-on. But he must convince the public, and regulators, that Toyota is walking the straight and narrow.Jonathan Browning
The head of Volkswagen in America must oversee a flawless launch of the new mid-sized sedan from VW's Chattanooga, Tenn., factory if he is going to come close to reaching the volume figures demanded by his bosses in Germany.
Gilles, a designer by training who remains head of Chrysler Group design, has taken to his role as CEO of the Dodge brand with zeal. His challenge is to define Dodge's identity now that it's separate from Ram truck. CEO Sergio Marchionne trusts Gilles' product instincts.