You can't go wrong if you focus on being a good team player and building strong relations with customers.
Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
A: I started my career as a draftsman at Dr. Schneider. My interest in the industry and cars was passed on from my grandfather and father. My first word when I was a baby was: "Auto."
Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: To have engineering responsibility for the first big international full-service supplier project with Ford/Visteon in Dearborn, Michigan, and in Genk, Belgium. Components were delivered from three different plants in Germany and Spain. Also, building up a strategic engineering and design relationship with Jaguar Land Rover within about 3 years. For our typical components we went from Tier 2 to Tier 1 responsibility.
Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?
A: The engineering work done on a stowage compartment on top of an instrument panel. It did not open properly, causing some warranty issues.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?
A: To re-organize the engineering team within my area of responsibility and to change processes to prevent engineering and design failures for a faster industrialization. The target is "first parts right." Also, I am part of a so-called "globalization team" tasked with identifying potential growth for our company in markets such as China, Brazil and Russia.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?
A: I'm still surprised that design directions are seldom straightforward. This causes unnecessary design loops that cost time.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A: Do not waste time looking back and investigating what went wrong, just find the right solution and strategies for the future.
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?
A: You can't go wrong if you focus on being a good team player and building strong relations with customers.
Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
A: One of the first things I would do is invite everyone to a workshop so we could determine the company's strengths and weakness and then decide how to turn of weaknesses into strengths. Furthermore I would organize events every six months so that the middle and senior management could come together to share ideas.
Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
A: I would like to remain in the engineering and design area, work on new products and innovations and win new customers.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A: I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am also treasurer of the German Ferrari Model Club, which includes more than 260 members across Europe and like to collect Ferrari books and die-cast models.
Q: FIRST CAR?
A: Nissan Sunny hatchback.
Q: CURRENT CAR?
A: Alfa Romeo Sportwagon.