Automotive News Rising Stars Automakers and Suppliers

As the auto industry reinvents itself, the 2022 class of Automotive News Rising Stars is right on the front lines. These 21 honorees are helping lead automakers, suppliers and technology companies into the coming era of autonomous and electric vehicles.

Banhegyi, Erich

Robert Bosch
North America

Vice President of Electrification

Erich
Banhegyi

Big Break: Being project leader of the team that designed Bosch's first hybrid drive — an e-motor and clutch — which debuted in 2010.

Age: 43

Barrales, Fernanda

Valeo

Regional Operations Quality Director

Fernanda
Barrales

Big Break: Moved from sales into a more technically challenging management career track in project management and manufacturing.

Age: 41

Boh, Annie

Honda Development
and Manufacturing
of America

Chief Engineer, Senior Manager

Annie
Boh

Big Break: Gaining buy-in from upper management to lead the business development of Honda's wind tunnel facility in the U.S.

Age: 42

Brooks, Tavon

Stellantis

Vice President of Jeep Product Management

Tavon
Brooks

Big Break: Becoming Jeep's director of product management in 2021.

Age: 39

Chen, Yansong

Ricardo Inc.

Senior Vice President Electrification Strategy and Technology

Yansong
Chen

Big Break: Both of Chen's parents were executives at China's FAW Group, one of the country's largest automakers. Their careers inspired her to become an engineer.

Age: 45

Cirstea, Marinela

Forvia

Vice President of Interiors Unit in North America

Marinela
Cirstea

Big Break: As a new program manager, oversaw development of the Renault Clio interior.

Age: 42

Fabian, Kate

Hyundai Motor America

Director, Marketing Communications

Kate
Fabian

Big Break: Coming to the U.S. to launch Genesis after being selected in a green card lottery, which enabled a timely transition.Â

Age: 45

Jairaj, Aditya

Nissan Motor Co.

Director, Electric Vehicles Marketing and Sales Strategy

Aditya
Jairaj

Big Break: Being tapped for a stint at Nissan’s global headquarters, helping him develop relationships with key executives and better understand how the organization operates globally.

Age: 40

Kumavat, Apeksha

Gatik

Co-Founder and Chief Engineer

Apeksha
Kumavat

Big Break: Starting a self-driving truck company at a time competitors focused on robotaxis.

Age: 31

Litton, Nate

Toyota
Financial Services

Chief Data and Analytics Officer

Nate
Litton

Big Break: Showing Toyota Financial Services how data, probabilities and analytics could dramatically improve its performance.

Age: 40

Miller, Jeff

General Motors

Assistant Chief Engineer of Super Cruise

Jeff
Miller

Big Break: Accelerating the rollout of the Super Cruise hands-free driving-assist technology and enhancing its features.

Age: 38

Miller, Hanaan

General Motors

Chief Engineer of Electric Drive Systems

Hanaan
Miller

Big Break: Led a team that designed and built an in-house traction inverter.

Age: 45

Morrison, Jennifer

Mazda North
American Operations

Manager of Vehicle Safety, Compliance, Planning & Development

Jennifer
Morrison

Big Break: Leaving a nearly 20-year career with the federal government for a role with Mazda, which allowed her to effect greater changes in vehicle safety.

Age: 45

Naugle, Dan

Axalta Coating Systems

Vice President for Mobility Americas

Dan
Naugle

Big Break: Joining Axalta in 2013, months after the former DuPont Performance Coatings business became an independent company.

Age: 45

Ostertag, Kevin

Panasonic Automotive

CFO

Kevin
Ostertag

Big Break: As a young plant controller for a factory project in 2008, Ostertag was part of a team that earned a Johnson Controls Chairman's Award for launching the high-profile assignment.

Age: 41

Porter, Briana

Lear Corp.

Platform Director for E-Systems

Briana
Porter

Big Break: Being chosen as a program manager for wire harnesses, one of the company's top moneymaking products.

Age: 44

Rudy, Julie

Adient North America

Director of Business Unit Purchasing

Julie
Rudy

Big Break: Being promoted to a director level position at Faurecia, allowing her to break into a male-dominated space and work on big-picture managerial goals.

Age: 42

Rusu, Radu

Fyusion

CEO and Co-Founder

Radu
Rusu

Big Break: Integrating Fyusion with Cox Automotive and scaling its vehicle imaging technologies within a larger company.

Age: 41

Teixeira, Andressa

Waymo

Head of Supply Chain Planning and Materials Management

Andressa
Teixeira

Big Break: Brought consumer electronics expertise on materials planning to AV business.

Age: 39

Turnbull, Jasen

Ford Motor Co.

F-150 Lightning Marketing Manager

Jasen
Turnbull

Big Break: Leading the go-to-market strategy for the launch of the Ford F-150 Lightning.

Age: 33

Umlauff, Marcus

Toyota Motor
North America

General Manager of Trucks

Marcus
Umlauff

Big Break: Coming to the U.S. from Australia on a temporary assignment to work on pickups.

Age: 44