What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My university had internship agreements with several companies from the insurance, fast-moving consumer goods and automotive sectors. I applied to Fiat and was selected for their program. I have always been a car enthusiast and this was the perfect opportunity to get into the automotive industry.
Your greatest achievement?
Building life-long relationships with all the companies and colleagues I have worked with. I have made great memories with previous bosses, colleagues and co-workers.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
I failed to properly explain and communicate to top management certain aspects of a project I had developed and implemented. The project wasn’t deployed properly and didn’t fulfill its potential. We missed a huge opportunity because of this. I learned that you also have to clearly explain and communicate to everyone involved for a project to be successful.
What is your current challenge at work?
The automotive industry is currently going through one of the most disruptive times in its history. We are moving from a product-driven industry to a service-driven business model. The car will become more of a platform within the entire mobility ecosystem. The challenge is to convince the main stakeholders of this. We have to change their mindset, which isn’t easy in an industry that is still very conservative as well as production- and sales-driven. We should embrace this as the opportunity that it represents. At the same time, we need to put consumers and consumers’ needs ahead of any product or service development to keep the products and services relevant.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
It still surprises me that although our industry sells one of the most expensive products based on aggregate value, we still aren’t able to make it a delightful experience for buyers. Today, consumers’ expectations about the quality of experience they will have when buying a car is quite negative.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always respect others regardless of whatever adjective you would use to describe them.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
I would advise them to come on board because there has never been a more interesting time to join our industry. The automotive industry is embracing innovation and new ideas.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
Right now, there is no job I would rather be doing. I also love being a part of the transformation taking place in the automotive industry.
What do you do to relax?
I love outdoor sports. That includes running, biking, playing tennis, skiing and diving. But I also enjoy reading and going to the cinema to relax.
What is your pet peeve?
I don’t like people who believe they are better than others just because they have a higher or more important position.
What was your first car?
It was a 1976 Toyota Corolla, which was all I could afford at that time.
I drive a Kia Stinger with a 370-hp, 3.3-liter engine.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.
2014-present: Vice president marketing and product planning, Kia Europe, Frankfurt, Germany
2011-2014: Marketing director, Volkswagen, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2008-2011: Marketing director, Seat, Barcelona, Spain
2006-2008: General marketing manager, Toyota, Madrid, Spain
2004-2006: Marketing director, Alfa Romeo, Madrid, Spain
2002-2004: Marketing director, Alfa Romeo, Lisbon, Portugal