Edward T. Hightower

Edward T. Hightower

MBA '95
Managing Director, Motoring Ventures LLC and Author, Motoring Africa: Sustainable Automotive Industrialization
Career Background

If you stand on any busy street corner in America for 60-seconds, you will see at least one automobile that Edward Hightower had a lead role in creating and bringing to market. The iconic BMW 6 Series, Lincoln Navigator, and Buick Enclave are a few examples. Edward Hightower is an accomplished global automotive engineering and business executive, entrepreneur, and author. He is managing director of Motoring Ventures LLC, a private capital investment, and operations and growth advisory firm focused on automotive and manufacturing businesses around the world.

Previously, Hightower served in several new-product design and engineering, strategy, brand marketing, and senior executive roles between GM, BMW, and Ford. He led GM’s $15 billion global crossovers business as executive chief engineer and vehicle line executive; served as chief engineer for Ford’s full-size SUVs; and served as BMW’s brand manager for the 5, 6, & 7 Series models in the U.S. He also worked as a hands-on management consultant at AlixPartners, LLP; fixing business operations, growing revenue, and advising on over $8 billion in M&A transactions for client company owners, CEOs, and private equity investors. He has extensive experience in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Hightower authored the book Motoring Africa: Sustainable Automotive Industrialization. Building Entrepreneurs, Creating Jobs, and Driving the World’s Next Economic Miracle, published in 2018. Based on his industry experiences around the world, Motoring Africa makes the case and offers an actionable roadmap for building sustainable manufacturing businesses in Africa.

Originally from Chicago, Hightower earned a BS in General Engineering (BSGE) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business; where he served as chairman of the Ross Alumni Board of Governors. He is a lifetime member of both Kappa Alpha Psi and the Council on Foreign Relations. He also advises businesses in West Africa as part of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (Seed) consultant program. Hightower is a 4th degree Black Belt and certified sensei instructor of Isshinryu karate. He and his family live in metro Detroit, Michigan, USA.