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    Northwest Automotive Alliance Chief Executive Carol Holden receives OBE in Queen’s New Year Honours

    Carol Holden, Chief Executive of the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA), has received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for services to the automotive industry in the North West.

    Carol was appointed Chief Executive of the NAA in April 2010, shortly before the announcement that the Northwest Development Agency was to be abolished, along with the funding it provided to the NAA. Despite such challenges, Carol has led the NAA through a period of successful growth and has secured a number of high profile projects for the organisation.

    Currently, the NAA has a growing paid membership base, it has more than 100 companies signed up to its ERDF-supported Business Excellence programme, it is managing the STRIVE AMSCI project, in which Bentley Motors is a key partner, and is a member of the Car for Young Drivers consortium, a Technology Strategy Board project.

    The annual NAA Awards Dinner is a reflection of the growth of the NAA over recent years. In 2011 the event had 50 attendees; in 2012 there were over 100, and in 2013 there were almost 270 guests, including many individuals from the national automotive industry.

    On receiving the news about being awarded an OBE, Carol commented “I am delighted to receive this award and regard it as a huge honour. My main focus over the last few years has been to help with the growth of the North West’s automotive industry, and it is gratifying that this effort has been acknowledged. There is still plenty more work to be done and in 2014 I look forward to building on the base that we have developed in order to further capitalise on the strengths of the automotive industry in the region.”

    Carol started her career at Leyland Truck & Bus, moving on to Eaton Ltd in 1985, where she progressed from roles such as Chief Engineer to a final position of Engineering Manager Europe from 2002-2009, leading and working with engineering teams in multiple facilities across Europe, USA, South America and Asia-Pacific.

    Carol is also a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Chair of the Professional Development Standards Committee at the IMechE, and a member of the Women’s Engineering Society.

    In addition Carol is active in various ways outside of professional life, for example until recently she was an accredited tennis referee and carried out roles such as Captain of the David Lloyd Chorley Junior Tennis Team.

    The Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) is an independent, not-for-profit company which provides a membership service to the automotive community, supporting micro-companies through to the locally-based global vehicle manufacturers. The NAA’s Business Excellence programme works with member companies to help them improve their performance.

    The UK’s automotive sector is a key part of the UK economy, generating around £50bn in annual turnover and delivering £10bn in net value-added to the economy. The North West region is the largest producer of vehicles in the UK, valued at over £10bn per annum. Over 17,000 people are directly employed by the vehicle makers and tier 1 suppliers in the region.

    The North West economy is currently faced with a significant opportunity due to the unprecedented investment in the UK’s automotive industry. However, for North West companies to remain competitive and win a share of the opportunities, the region’s automotive sector needs to be supported. The Northwest Automotive Alliance is working with automotive suppliers to help them gain maximum benefit from the growth of the UK’s automotive industry, so helping to improve the North West region’s economy.

    European Social Fund
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham