John Catterall, former executive director of the Auto/Steel Partnership and an automotive veteran has been appointed vice president, automotive programme, for the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The appointment goes live on 1 March. He succeeds Dr. Jody N Hall who has led the AISI's automotive programme since 2014 and is retiring at the end of the month.

In his new role, Catterall will focus on maintaining steel’s role as the automotive material of choice. With both industries focused on the future of mobility, cost-efficient mass optimisation, and strong and durable steel structures will continue to be important for both occupant and battery protection, as well as enhancing the ride experience for passengers. Catterall’s expertise includes extensive background in body, chassis and closures.

“As an industry, we’ve made tremendous strides in the automotive market over the last six years under Jody’s leadership,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “John’s extensive background in automotive engineering will help him continue our momentum as we face the challenges of competing materials and future mobility applications.”

Catterall will be responsible for leadership of AISI’s Automotive Applications Council, a group of AISI member steel producers focused on automotive innovation, education and technology transfer activities. He also will lead AISI member company collaborations with the Auto/Steel Partnership, a partnership between AISI members, automaker representatives from FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company and other steel-related consortia.

“This is an exciting time as vehicles are evolving rapidly with future mobility becoming a reality,” said Catterall. “Steel will always be in the forefront of value-added automotive engineering and manufacturing and I am eager to continue leading the industry forward.”

Catterall’s career has spanned nearly four decades in automotive engineering. Prior to his role as executive director of the Auto/Steel Partnership, Catterall was global innovation manager for body systems at General Motors for more than 16 years, where he led the GM global innovation team in developing solutions for all body systems. Prior to GM, his career experience included project execution, management, co-ordination and technical leadership with companies such as Autokinetics Inc, Desktop Engineering International Inc, Hartwick Professionals Inc, Lexel Engineering, HW Structures, Austin Rover and Leyland Vehicles (the latter three are in the UK). He holds degrees in mechanical and production automotive engineering from Bolton Technical College and Leyland Technical College in England.