Katia Maeso Bucher, 37
Digital business rollout management, Seat
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first job in the automotive industry was with Seat when I took part in the company’s trainee program in 2011. My family has a history with the car industry. My mother worked at Seat for 20 years. She convinced me to apply. To me, Seat, as part of the Volkswagen Group, is one of the best companies to work for because they offer plenty of opportunities to grow and develop. I see the automotive industry as a highly advanced when it comes to innovation, technology as well as lean management. I have always been amazed by this. The relevance of the industry and the challenges it faces make it super attractive to do relevant and impactful things.
Your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has been building a high-performance team with great people. Together we have succeeded in implementing one of the most complex and challenging transformation projects within the VW Group: the agency model. It’s a new vehicle distribution model where the national importer becomes the sole seller of the products and the dealers act as agents on behalf of the brand. This increases central sales steering and enables online sales. It’s a huge transformation of our core business that significantly impacts multiple layers of the distribution organization.
Katia Maeso Bucher
Family: Partner, David; baby daughter due in September
Born: Barcelona, Spain
Languages: Spanish, German, English, basic French
Education: Master’s degree in digital business, ESADE Business & Law School, Barcelona, Spain; master’s degree in marketing and market research, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; bachelor’s degree in computer science, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Catalonia, Spain
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
It happened when I was responsible for setting up an innovation lab within sales and marketing. We tried, together with some of the company’s other areas, to implement a transversal innovation team within a centralized department. It failed. I now believe innovation should be integrated in each area where the expertise and knowledge lie. It shouldn’t be held by an isolated team because they usually don’t succeed in embedding innovation into a company’s DNA. Innovation must come from within the company by tapping its top talent, expertise and knowledge and with the support of top management.
What is your current challenge at work?
Right now, I’m implementing a new framework between headquarters and our national importers. This is being done to strengthen our worldwide digital business model. We want to help markets develop more agile working methodologies. We plan to support them with the implementation and management of digital key performance indicators so they can achieve important business results.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Every step leaves a footprint. To me that means don’t take giant leaps and skip essential experience to try to reach management positions sooner than you should.
2021-present: Digital business rollout management, Seat, Barcelona, Spain
2016-2021: Future sales rollout management, Seat, Barcelona
2014-2016: Marketing innovation lab management, Seat, Barcelona
2015: Marketing science lab, Seat representative, VW Group, Munich, Germany
2012-2014: Customer and trends analysis, Seat, Barcelona
2011-2012: Trainee program, Seat, Barcelona
2011: Freelance online marketing consultant, Barcelona
2010: Online marketing manager, asknet, San Francisco, California, USA
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
The automotive industry is changing exponentially. Go ahead and seize this turbulent moment. Be flexible and open-minded. At the same time have fun, take risks and make mistakes.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I would like to continue to be part of new challenges and opportunities. I want to be surrounded by talented and motivated people, have fun and learn while doing meaningful things.
What do you do to relax?
I live in beautiful Barcelona by the beach. I love spending my free time playing volleyball, walking on the beach or paddleboarding.
What is your dream location to live?
I’m very happy in Barcelona. However, I’m open to live anywhere interesting to continue discovering new cities and cultures.
What is your favorite driving song?
I really enjoy the song “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
California is my favorite place. I lived there for a year, and it was an amazing experience. It’s the perfect place to go on a road trip. The highways are endless, and you can experience very different landscapes. From huge and incredible trees at Sequoia National Park, the breathtaking desert in Death Valley to California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway. However, my favorite is the view you get of San Francisco’s skyline when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
What was your first car?
A red Seat Ibiza, of course!
A Seat Ibiza. It might sound conservative, but it’s such a great car.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A Porsche Taycan because it is electric and powerful.