Who should sit in the driving seat of the world’s car makers? The question of who will lead their businesses into the future is coming to a head for several of the world’s largest groups, just as motor manufacturing faces an era of intense change with the need to embrace new business models and invest in new technologies while keeping the old engine running. "We are facing a generational change," said Ralf Landmann, a headhunter at Spencer Stuart. New leaders will have to steer cumbersome and oil tanker-like businesses through a ferociously competitive and deeply cyclical industry, as well as bridging the culture chasm between engineers and the rising number of technologists in their ranks. Fiat Chrysler (FCA), the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Mercedes-Benz-owner Daimler, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota are all due or likely to need to consider succession in the next few years, whether from contracts expiring or legally enforced age restrictions at their companies. The fi...

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