The automotive industry is dealing with an increasingly complex environment. Automotive companies are facing challenges regarding their globalization strategy, research and product development, cost reduction, and reengineering. They are confronted with huge overcapacity in the market and challenged by the necessity to invest in new drive technologies. Meeting these challenges requires executives with specific skills, attributes, and experience who can successfully manage the changes and lead companies through turbulent times.
In this competitive environment Ginkgo Search Partners' Automotive Executive Search Practice brings value to clients by identifying and attracting qualified executives with the drive to create ongoing change. Our executive search professionals know their industry and the market they serve. Their cutting edge search skills and consistent identification of the best candidates for each search help clients earn the highest return on their investment.
Ginkgo Search Partners Automotive Practice Group successfully concluded an executive search mandate to recruit a Plant Manager for an international automotive supplier in China. Our retained client is a global player in the automotive and commercial vehicle industry and specialized in developing and manufacturing automotive interior systems and seating components for offroad vehicles, trucks, buses, and trains. Our client served some of the major international premium OEM brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Daimler.
For the executive search mandate of a Plant Manager we sought an accomplished Chinese automotive executive, with a well-rounded background in automotive manufacturing. The candidates were mainly sourced from leading international automotive suppliers focusing on the production of automotive interior systems in China. Our primary focus was to search for candidates in the Shanghai area. A special challenge was to identify a Chinese automotive manager, with a strong technical background and lean production management experience in the automotive interior sector. The candidate should preferably be fluent in German to facilitate communication with the German headquarters and attuned to the German management culture and quality standards.
A selection of highly qualified candidates was shortlisted by our executive search consultants to meet our client's Global HR Director for the final interview round in Shanghai. The successful candidate for the Plant Manager position is an experienced automotive professional with a mechanical automation degree from a German university and an MBA from China's prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai. In his previous role as Vice President China he was in charge of the seating business unit of an international automotive supplier covering functions such as sales, purchasing, engineering, product development, testing, industrial engineering, logistics, and controlling. He had full P&L responsibility for the business unit and assured that the profit targets were achieved.
In his new role as a Plant Manager the candidate showed a high level of engagement and overperformed on his individual targets while receiving an award for the best product launch within the global automotive group. He was in charge of the successful relocation of a plant in Shanghai and managed the SOP of a new plant in Beijing. In recognition of his achievements the executive was promoted into a higher management position and is heading the China operations of our client.
On April 25 the 14th Beijing Motor Show opened its doors to the public. The event is held every two years on an annually alternating basis with the Shanghai Motor Show and is one of the largest international automotive shows in the world.
This year's Beijing Motor Show put a spotlight on sports utility vehicles (SUVs). There is an increase in demand for large cars in China with automakers now talking about increasing space and the number of people that can fit into an SUV.
The smart car industry has become the new battlefield on which traditional car manufacturers and Internet companies are competing. One of the latest players entering the arena was announced in January last year when LeTV, best known for its streaming video platform held a press conference themed "Redefine the Future" in Beijing to announce the appointment of Lu Zhengyu, a former Managing Director of Asia & Oceania Operations for Infiniti, as Vice President for the newly established Leshi Super Electric Car Company, a subsidiary of the LeTV Group. In summer 2014 LeTV reportedly made a joint investment with the domestic carmaker Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC) into the American company Atieva, which is the design and engineering company for Tesla’s Roadster.
Which technologies are affecting future mobility? Will new vehicle concepts stand up to traditional cars? How are automotive value chains shifting?
These three questions are affecting not only the automotive industry but also the new players changing the automotive world. The key to new and successful products on the market is the cooperation between large and medium-sized companies as well as scientific institutions. Hence innovative companies are looking for creative routes to new solutions more and more.
Robin Page, Volvo’s vice president of interior design, received the honor of Interior Designer of the Year. Page’s work, which includes a high-tech touchscreen control console, was recognized as helping to build the company’s luxury credentials. Page said “I am humbled by this award. The interior design of the XC90 reflects a paradigm shift for Volvo Cars. At Volvo Cars we focus on creating an overall luxurious living experience. This means using natural materials such as wood, leather, and crystal in a way that delivers calmness and serenity to the driving experience”.
“The trucks of the future will be connected and will become even more efficient than today’s models. Our commercial vehicle industry is working intensively on connected and automated driving. This way we can make marked improvements in fuel efficiency, road safety and also profitability, particularly in road freight traffic,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the association’s Commercial Vehicle Symposium 2015 in Berlin.