TWO Nissan employees are celebrating success after being included among the Top 100 Rising Stars of the automotive industry.
Kayleigh Edwards, Intelligent Mobility Communications, Nissan Europe, and Sara Harris, Marketing Director at West Way Nissan were both named in the ‘Great British Women of the Car Industry — Rising Stars’ honours list, compiled by Autocar, in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Launched to widespread acclaim in 2016, Autocar’s Great British Women in the Car Industry initiative aims to highlight the highest-achieving women of the automotive world and this year focusses on those working in vehicle development, manufacturing, purchasing, retail, marketing, communications, apprentices, motorsport, design and executives.
Prior to joining Nissan, Kayleigh was employed as Press Officer at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – a perfect place to learn all there is to know about the UK automotive industry. In 2013, Kayleigh joined Nissan GB, managing Electric Vehicle and Corporate Communications, as well as UK press events, before moving to Nissan Europe in 2015, for a pan-European role focusing on Intelligent Mobility Communications.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to work in such a vibrant, ever-changing sector and am delighted to have been recognised as part of this initiative. There are thousands of opportunities for women within the automotive industry and it’s initiatives such as this that help to shine a light on the many opportunities available, ensuring that the very best talent is welcomed into the industry,” said Kayleigh.
With 20 years’ experience in the automotive sector, predominantly in marketing roles, Sara took her first management position at the age of 22. Current responsibilities include designing the dealership of the future as part of West Way 2020. Her 14-year career at West Way has seen her perform a variety of key roles in the business, helping the group double in size, deliver sustainable profits and culminating in a record breaking 2016.
“The Autocar Great British Women in the Car Industry awards are a great way of highlighting women in this exciting and dynamic sector,” said Sara. “I’ve been blessed with some fantastic opportunities, working with exceptional people and I’m honoured to have been included as part of this initiative. Within my role of heading West Way’s 2020 strategy we are challenging the traditional structure and processes to ensure we’re meeting the anticipated customer demands for the future, and our apprentice program is bringing more diverse talent into the industry. It’s an exciting time.”
Mark Tisshaw, Editor of Autocar, said: “Kayleigh stood out for her leadership of communications around some of the hottest topics in the car industry – electrification and autonomy – and for her swift rise into a European-wide role. We are confident her calm, confident demeanour and ability to promote breakthrough technologies will stand her in good stead in the future.
“Sara has clearly demonstrated the tenacity and determination required to succeed in the industry, leading from the front and achieving startling results. She has proved that she can star both when times are difficult and when they are good — two different skill sets — and it is clear her managers expect her to keep on rising.
“Both Kayleigh and Sara have demonstrated a determination to rise through the ranks, taking leadership and being accountable for – but not afraid of – big decisions. These qualities really helped them stand out and make the Top 100.”