Steve Nash, currently after sales director of BMW, will be joining the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) as CEO in January 2013.
Nash has been a non-executive member of the IMI Group Board in the role of president since 2009 and five years before that as chairman.
He has worked in the motor industry on both retail and manufacturing sides since graduating in 1977. He joined BMW in 1986 and has been a director of the company since 1997, including a period as group after sales director, looking after the Rover and Land Rover brands.
He said: “After a long association with the IMI as a non-executive Board member I am delighted to be able to apply that experience, along with my broad sector knowledge, to the full time role of leading the Institute.
“Huge strides have been made at Fanshaws in the last 10 years and I am looking forward to maintaining that momentum and shaping a future direction which will ensure our success in the years ahead."
Adrian Smith, chair elect, said: "The IMI Board is delighted to appoint Steve Nash as the Institute's new chief executive.
“With his extensive sector experience and his track record in supporting the organisation through change, he is ideally placed to lead the next phase in the IMI's ambitious plans.
“Steve is also fully committed to the value of Registered Professionals in our sector, which will raise the profile of thousands of skilled individuals working in the retail automotive sector. We set our sights high and were delighted to be able to select Steve from an exceptionally strong field of candidates."