Allan Rushforth Chief Commercial Officer_FH

Hydrogen vehicle manufacturer First Hydrogen has recruited Allan Rushforth as chief commercial officer for its automotive division.

Rushforth whose previous posts include former vice president of global sales and performance at Nissan and chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, has worked in the automotive industry for more than 35 years.

During his career, Rushforth has worked as group services director at Volkswagen Group UK and head of retail operations at Audi UK.

He has also held commercial leadership roles with Land Rover and BMW Korea. More recently, he was managing director at Lookers, Europe’s fourth largest automotive retailer, where he was responsible for a turnover of more than €5bn (£4.23bn).

Rushforth's most recent role was European MD for the Marque Group, an Australian private equity-backed collective of auto technology businesses, where he was responsible for leading the group in European markets. Alongside this role he has also supported online electric vehicle marketplace, zeVie Cars, as a non-executive director.

His brief at First Hydrogen is to bring the company’s hydrogen fleet vehicles to market. He will also use his experience in harnessing data-led insights to improve customer experience, build brand value and partnerships and, when First Hydrogen’s demonstrator vehicles launch later this year, will foster customer relationships.

Under his responsibility for scaling up First Hydrogen’s operations in Europe, Rushforth will also help to establish "a world-class team that reflects the business’ entrepreneurial and progressive spirit", the company added.

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Rushforth said: "I first drove hydrogen powered vehicles at Hyundai and since then have firmly believed that hydrogen plays a dominant role in the future of mobility.

"First Hydrogen is bringing that zero emissions future into the present. This role means I can work at the forefront of Europe’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, giving me the opportunity to change the world working with First Hydrogen’s innovative technology. I’m especially looking forward to accelerating the Company’s growth and working with our designers, engineers and prospective customers to shape the future.

Steve Gill, CEO at First Hydrogen Automotive, said: “We’re excited to bring Allan on board, his appointment is a significant step in bringing First Hydrogen vehicles to market and cementing the Company as a key player in the zero emissions sector.

"Allan has had an impressive international career in the automotive sector, he is a strategic thinker who also understands the importance of operational execution and brings extensive digital expertise to the team.

"Hydrogen power is gaining global attention and we aim to be at the forefront of delivering its potential through innovative mobility solutions. We’re confident that his energy and experience will enable us to achieve our mission.”