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THE Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) has appointed Matthew Hobbs as its chief executive officer.

Mr Hobbs, who will take over his new role in January, is currently director of policy and advocacy at the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

He replaces the MTAA’s interim CEO, Geoff Gwilym, who is the CEO of the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce. Mr Gwilym took on the dual role in March 2023 following the retirement in December 2022 of previous MTAA CEO Richard Dudley.

The MTAA said Mr Hobbs brings to his new role a breadth of experience in the automotive industry, including filling senior executive roles with GM Holden, and with General Motors and Nissan Motors internationally.

Mr Hobbs has a record of leading successful government relations campaigns and supporting leadership to develop corporate strategies that impact the bottom line.

Successor found: In January Matthew Hobbs will replace Geoff Gwilym as head of the MTAA, succeeding Richard Dudley who retired at the end of 2022.

His experience includes securing substantial government incentives, developing restructuring plans, asset disposal, business savings, and obtaining favourable industry, trade and regulatory settings.

MTAA chair Frank Agostino said: “Mr Hobbs has a great automotive industry pedigree and brings a wealth of experience in policy and advocacy work for the industry.

“These attributes will be critical for MTAA, particularly given the anticipated changes and disruption the industry will experience as we transition to an electric vehicle fleet.”

Mr Hobbs will work closely with the member MTAA bodies, the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce and the motor trade associations of WA, NSW, SA/NT and Queensland.

The role will have a central focus on working with its member bodies, and with the industry and government.

The creation of high-quality policy and industry submissions to governments, along with building strong relationships between MTAA and policy makers, will be priority actions for Mr Hobbs.

MTAA board members and motor trade CEOs welcome Mr Hobbs into this important industry role which will allow the MTAA to continue to expand its position as Australia’s leading national industry voice.

By Neil Dowling