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Top global exec joins Carbon Revolution

Big wheel: Adrian Smith brings many years of top-level experience with leading Tier 1 automotive brake suppliers, including Brembo and Akebono, to the new position at Carbon Revolution.

Aussie wheel-maker snares former Akebono, Brembo VP Smith to spearhead Euro assault

11 Oct 2019

HI-TECH Australian automotive wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has announced the appointment of international industry executive Adrian Smith to the newly created position of sales and business development director.


Charged with spearheading Carbon Revolution’s growth in Europe, British-born Mr Smith has spent the past four years as vice-president of the global high-performance division of Tier 1 automotive supplier Akebono Brake Corporation, based in Detroit in the US where the company is positioned as the largest OEM brake provider in North America.


In this role he created, developed and implemented a global strategy for Akebono’s High Performance business unit and, with responsibility for program management, design and product development, achieved significant growth in both North America and Europe.


Mr Smith had joined Akebono in September 2013 to establish and drive growth of a North American performance braking business unit, starting as chief engineer of high-performance and electric braking but soon promoted to general manager and then vice-president.


He was previously vice-president and business director for brake systems at Brembo North America, a position he held for some three years after earlier serving for about a year as vice-president of sales, marketing, engineering and logistics.


He also had a stint for almost two years as general manager of Brembo’s North American business, overseeing the OEM, aftermarket, racing and high-performance divisions, while earlier in his career (2000-2004) he worked at the Italian braking giant’s headquarters in Curno, near Milan, as technical director.


In this latter position, Mr Smith was responsible for a staff of 240 engineers and core engineering activities covering project management, design, prototyping and product development for Brembo’s entire product range.


In between the Brembo jobs in Europe and the US, Mr Smith spent two-and-a-half years (from late 2004 to mid-2007) as vice-president and general manager of Prodrive Automotive Technology’s North American business where he was responsible for the Michigan-based vehicle engineering business as well as the California-based performance parts and accessories division.


In announcing Mr Smith’s new appointment, which is effective immediately, Carbon Revolution chief executive Jake Dingle said: “Over the last three years we have secured important strategic vehicle programs in Europe with Ferrari and Renault and have several more prospective programs in the pipeline.


“This appointment reflects our belief that there are significant market opportunities for Carbon Revolution’s products globally and particularly in Europe.


“Having a sales and business development executive with Adrian’s experience will position Carbon Revolution well for further sales growth.


“This is an exciting time to be part of the Carbon Revolution story. I welcome Adrian to the team and look forward to his contribution towards growing our business.”


Mr Smith arrives just weeks after Gerard Buckle started work as Carbon Revolution’s new chief financial officer, replacing Bryce Houghton who was in the position for about 18 months.


Mr Buckle has previously held senior management positions with a range of companies, including Incitec Pivot, Ernst and Young, Bonlac Foods, Orica and Repco.


As GoAuto has reported, former GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard came out of “retirement” earlier this year to become a non-executive director of Carbon Revolution.


He arrived soon after Holden’s former director of vehicle operations Martin Merry was appointed plant manager at Carbon Revolution’s factory in Waurn Ponds.

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