100 days later
Head of G3 – product linE MIDSIZE / MEB
Where did you work prior to joining ŠKODA AUTO?
I was working for Mercedes-Benz for almost 20 years. As purchasing manager, I worked in China for the entire Daimler Group. I helped out on the previous generation of the A, B, CLA and GLA models and took part in creating concepts for their current versions, as well as the upcoming fully dedicated EV platform. In the middle of 2018, I received an offer to take over management of Technical Development at Seat.
You have just passed the first 100 days as head of the G3 department. How have these first few weeks been for you?
I started shortly after the coronavirus lockdown, which proved to be difficult. The Spanish and Czech brands have a lot in common, but they are also different. I was especially fascinated by the commitment and enthusiasm of the entire team to make the new ENYAQ iV premiere a success. The employees thought about not only the product itself but also what they could do or improve for the customer. I think they have this deeply rooted in their genes.
What is the most important task your department is currently dealing with?
Following the world premiere, our top task now is to roll the ENYAQ iV out on the road and bring it to our customers. At the same time, we have to push our Passat/SUPERB partner project.
Do you see any differences in the Czech company compared with what you were used to in the past?
There is this very common Simply Clever concept. It permeates almost every debate, and I really enjoy this. I also appreciate the locals’ ability to get the best out of a project even with very limited funds.
What has surprised you in a positive way?
Even before I arrived, for example, I’d been working with Christian Strube, Board Member for Technical Development, and his team. As I’m now diving in deeper and seeing the Škodians’ tremendous desire to create perfect products, especially from a technical point of view. And they always look at the overall picture, not only through the lens of their specialisation. This holistic approach is amazing.
Would you like to change anything over the next 100 days?
We’ve found that if we change our products, we need to change and more closely link the processes we use. We’re already working and consulting on some of them with the relevant top management. There will be another important milestone, but it will take a little more than 100 days. Štěpán Vorlíček