This industry provides great opportunities to be global and think global. Pack your bags and go experience the world.
Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
A: In 1999, I started as a product engineer at Sommer Allibert, which was bought by Faurecia in 2000. Before I joined the company, I was working in the energy industry and colleagues told me about the job. I soon realized the automotive industry was right for me because it had an international scope and offered me a chance to develop myself as a manager.
Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: It has been the last four years that we have spent working with Ford on the launch of the new-generation Focus. Faurecia has played a key part as the global source for the Focus' cockpits, door panels and center consoles. The parts are being made at nine Faurecia plants and are being shipped to three Ford plants. This has required great teamwork and has been a great success.
Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?
A: My biggest mistake was leaving Faurecia for six months in 2001. At the time, I thought I wanted to work for a company where I would travel less and spend more time focused on the local market. I soon realized this was a mistake and resigned from the position. I moved on my own to Cologne, Germany, to look for a job there. Faurecia decided to hire me back to work for them in Cologne. What I learned is that you need to follow your own convictions.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?
A: To help Faurecia grow the Ford account together with Ford in other parts of the world. I am responsible for the account in Europe, but Ford has ambitious worldwide growth plans. Therefore, I advise and collaborate with my Faurecia colleagues around the world on how they can build stronger ties with Ford.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?
A: How fast things move and change in this industry and how fast you have to react. Sometime you surprise yourself with how quickly you can respond.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A: During a difficult time in my personal life a trusted colleague told me not to give up on my marriage. The time demands of this business are very tough on a relationship. Fortunately my wife and I have been able to find a balance that works for us.
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?
A: This industry provides great opportunities to be global and think global. Pack your bags and go experience the world.
Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
A: I would sit down with the management team to learn more about them and the people that they are leading in order to understand their situations to determine how to motivate as many of the employees as possible.
Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
A: The future job has to keep my passion for business alive, which will require continuous challenges and a lot of dynamism.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A: My wife and I like to get away to quiet, secluded locations along Spain's coast where we can just relax and spend time together.
Q: FIRST CAR?
A: An early 1980s Renault 5.
Q: CURRENT CARS?
A: Volvo V60 and an Audi A3 Sportback for my wife.