Pedro Lazarino, 39
European sales and marketing regional manager, Opel Group
Family:Wife, Ana; son, Domingos, 9; daughter, Assuncao, 6
Born: Nazare, Portugal
Languages: Portuguese, English, French, Germann
Education: Master's degree, business and administration, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal; economics and business management degree, Nova University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal; currently completing a remote leadership program via Harvard Business School
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I was a distribution specialist at Opel Portugal. I have been a real petrol head for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to pursue a career in the automotive industry. I never really considered anything else.
What was your big break?
That was when, after my studies, I decided to send my resume to several car manufacturers and got an answer from Opel.
Your greatest achievement?
My involvement with the Opel Mokka. To date, we have sold more than 750,000 units, making the Mokka one of the most successful SUVs in Europe and a key player for Opel.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
This is related to the Mokka project as well. At the time, I was already convinced that the car would be a hit with customers. Unfortunately, I didn't push hard enough for larger production numbers right from the start. When it comes to future projects, I will be more insistent if I am convinced about my estimate.
What is your current challenge at work?
In my current role as a regional sales and marketing manager, I'm working on an increased organizational focus on profitability as an integral part of our sales target scheme.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
It is fascinating to find the right balance between what we "car guys" value compared with what our customers value. We are very passionate about every detail of the vehicle and we need to learn to sometimes put emotions aside to ensure the right focus on the things that really count for our customers.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Time will solve some problems. Knowing this helps keep a person from overreacting during some stressful situations.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Make sure that you really like cars. This industry needs passionate people who can translate that passion to fit customer needs.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Set aside one hour each work day to have random face-to-face meetings with employees from all different levels of the organization. I would do this to better understand what is on their minds.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
Well, as I'm getting a bit too old to be a racecar driver, I should start to think about another option. Joking aside, I always want to stay close to the product itself, as this is at the heart of our business and this is where I can add my passion for cars and live up to my petrol-head attitude.
What do you do to relax?
I love to ride my motorcycle and do off-road activities.
What is your pet peeve?
People who have no passion for their job.
What was your first car?
An Opel Corsa Sport 1.5 TD. I had no idea when I got the car that I would work for Opel in the future.
An Opel Crossland X. It's one of seven new products Opel is launching this year.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
Definitely an Opel Mokka because it's small in size but big in attitude.
January 2017-present: European sales and marketing regional manager, Opel, Ruesselsheim, Germany
2014-2016: Group product and pricing manager compact cars & compact utility vehicles, Opel, Ruesselsheim
2010-2014: Product manager global Gamma & Mini cars, Opel, Ruesselsheim 2007-2010: Field operations manager, sales department, GM Portugal, Paco de Arcos, Portugal
2006-2007: Passenger carline marketing manager, GM Portugal, Paco de Arcos, Portugal
2004-2006: Carline marketing manager, GM Portugal, Paco de Arcos, Portugal