Five influential women of the automotive industry

By autoX Editorial | on March 8, 2018

We list five women who have made a significant impact in the world of motoring.

On the occasion of Women’s Day, we list five astounding women who have made a significant impact in the automotive industry and the world of everyday motoring.


Mary Barra Chairman Ceo General Motors GM

Mary T. Barra (Chairman and CEO of General Motors Company)

General Motors is one of the largest names in the automotive world. At the company’s helm is Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO – a position she has held since 2014. This makes her one of the most powerful and influential personalities in the industry, globally. Barra was the first female CEO of a major global automaker when she was appointed to this role. Barra has played a crucial role in turning the company around and led it to a brighter future. She is also responsible for the company’s transition into the technology space with the development of autonomous driving and electric vehicles.


Juliane Blasi BMW Z4 Second Generation Designer1

Juliane Blasi (Lead designer of the BMW (E89) Z4 Roadster)

BMW Z4 Second Generation Roadster

When BMW revealed the E89 Z4 Roadster back in 2009, it was an exceptionally beautiful-looking car. We believe the magic came from the fact that BMW had given a feminine touch to its design in the way that the automotive world had never witnessed before. Juliane Blasi was given the task to lead the exterior design team, which resulted in the beautifully sculpted body of the second-generation Z4. The car had an aggressive air to it and still managed to look mature and elegant at the same time, with a metal fold convertible roof adding to its appeal. While BMW kept producing the second-generation Z4 till 2016, Blasi in the meantime also helpeddesign the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive in 2011.

Michelle Christensen Honda Acura NSX Designer1

Michelle Christensen (Lead designer for the second generation Honda/Acura NSX)

Acura NSX 2017 1280 011

In 2016, Michelle Christensen was assigned her first project as the new Lead Principal Designer at Honda R&D to sculpt the second-generation NSX hybrid supercar. Christensen led an eight-person team who were tasked with building on the NSX concept designed by Toshinobu Minami to develop the production version of the car. The aim was to keep the design emotional while giving the overall look of the supercar a touch exotic sensation. Working for Honda’s luxury brand, Acura, Christensen was also a part of the team who designed the ZDX crossover and the RLX.


Road Sign Design

Margret Calvert – (Designer of British Road Signs)

Something we all take for granted on our daily commute is the importance of road signs and their design. While it may seem simple, there is a huge thought process invested in creating something the result of which seems so obvious. Margret Calvert was an integral part of designing some of the road signs in addition to the lettering, which can be seem on the roads and highways across Britain. Her research and design focused on finding ways to make signs and writings easily legible while driving at high speeds, which also inspired other countries to adopt similar style for their motorways.


Michele Mouton Audi Rally Driver

Michèle Mouton (Former Rally Driver)

As far as pioneering women in motorsport goes, no one has yet matched the achievements of Michelle Mouton. The former rally driver became the first woman to win a WRC event when she triumphed at the 1981 San Remo Rally, and she did it behind the wheel of Audi’s mighty Quattro, the car that was synonymous with rallying’s Group B era. She almost won the 1982 WRC title, falling just short of Walter Rohrl. Her three wins that year helped Audi to win their first manufacturers’ title. She won the 1986 German Rally Championship while driving for Peugeot

Tags: BMW Honda Acura General Motors Audi

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