It's tough to come to terms with the sudden passing of Martin Haub, the kind and brilliant head of r&d and product marketing at French supplier Valeo.
The German native died on Christmas Eve. He was just 62.
His death has left his family reeling and his colleagues at Valeo shocked.
The loss, which I learned about late Friday, hits me hard, too. I had just met with Haub in his Paris office at Valeo on Dec. 9. During our chat he was particularly excited about the company's growing presence in the LED headlight sector.
"People often say to us, 'You are not really present in LEDs.' But let's talk again in a year," he said, showing his competitive side without taking anything away from rivals such as Hella and Magneti Marelli's Automotive Lighting unit.
He was proud that Valeo had LED headlight orders for models in all market segments.
"LEDs are more expensive, but we have reached a point where customers are going for it for differentiation -- even in entry-level vehicles," Haub said.
He predicted LED headlights would be an "avalanche technology," meaning there would be a massive uptake as soon as one mass-market carmaker decided to make it part of its offering.