Valmet Auto appoints Olaf Bongwald as CEO

Valmet Auto appoints Olaf Bongwald as CEO

Valmet Automotive’s Board of Directors has appointed Olaf Bongwald, 51, as CEO of Valmet Automotive, effective July 15, 2018.

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Mr. Bongwald's home office will be in Bad Friedrichshall, Germany, allowing him to spend a significant part of his time with customers and to participate actively in business development activities in Central Europe.

Olaf Bongwald joins Valmet Automotive from American Axle where he has acted as President, Driveline Europe. Previously Mr. Bongwald has served Magna for 17 years and has held several senior business leadership positions there.

This nomination is a reflection of the company's updated strategy to expand its business portfolio into electrification of vehicles and their battery solutions as well as to grow in Central Europe. Olaf brings us nearly 20 years of experience from one of the globally leading tier one suppliers.

"Olaf has a proven track record of leading and growing global automotive businesses and driving sustainable profits. I am very pleased that he decided to join Valmet Automotive and I am convinced that we will accelerate under his leadership the positive development we have had in the company during the first half of 2018," said Jarkko Sairanen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Valmet Automotive.

"I am honoured by the opportunity to join Valmet Automotive. The company has a longstanding reputation for high quality and deep capability among the leading German automotive companies. I am excited about the new strategy of Valmet Automotive and look forward to working with the entire Valmet Automotive team and our customers to realise it," said Olaf Bongwald.

Lear appoints John Absmeier as CTO

Lear appoints John Absmeier as CTO

Lear Corporation a supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems announced that it has hired John Absmeier as Chief Technology Officer to lead all aspects of the Company’s technology and innovation efforts.

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He will join Lear on June 18, and report to Ray Scott, Lear's President and Chief Executive Officer. Absmeier has a deep automotive technology, engineering and business experience. Most recently, John was responsible for the ADAS/Autonomous business unit as Senior Vice President and General Manager at Harman International, and the Vice President of Smart Machines at Samsung Electronics where he led the acquisition of Harman by Samsung.

He joined Samsung in 2015 from Delphi where he had a 19-year career including founder and Managing Director of Delphi Labs @ Silicon Valley and Autonomous Driving as well as being the Business Director for Electronic Controls and Electrification in Asia-Pacific for six years. He also held several roles of increasing responsibility at Delphi in the areas of Hybrid and Electric vehicles, Fuel Cells and Telematics. He joined Delphi after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. John also has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master in Management Technology from the University of California at Berkeley.

"We are delighted to welcome John with his industry-leading technology and business expertise to Lear at a time when industry trends such as electrification, connectivity and mobility as well as the convergence of our two product segments are driving tremendous growth opportunities," said Ray Scott, Lear's President and CEO. "This is an exciting time for our industry and our Company, and Lear has never been in a better position to lead the way with new products and advanced technologies. The addition of John as our CTO will only accelerate our positive momentum," concluded Scott.

BorgWarner appoints Frederic Lissalde as CEO

BorgWarner appoints Frederic Lissalde as CEO

The BorgWarner Board of Directors announced the appointment of Frederic Lissalde to president and chief executive officer effective August 1, 2018, at which time he will also join the Board of Directors.

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Effective on the same date, James R. Verrier will step down from the president and chief executive officer role and serve in a non-executive advisory role to the Board of Directors and CEO to support a successful transition until he retires from the company February 28, 2019.

Lissalde currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Previous positions include president and general manager of BorgWarner Turbo Systems, the company's largest business, vice president and general manager of BorgWarner Transmissions Systems and vice president of global sales and marketing of BorgWarner Drivetrain Systems. He also served as managing director of several operations in Europe for BorgWarner Drivetrain Systems. Lissalde holds a Masters of Engineering degree from ENSAM (Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Metiers, Paris) and an MBA from HEC Paris.

"I am very proud of what the team has accomplished during my time as president and CEO, and truly believe the company is in an excellent position for continued success. I feel the current strength of the company is what makes this the right time to step down. Fred is a proven global leader who I have worked with for many years. I'm confident he will continue to lead this great company forward for years to come," said James R. Verrier, President and CEO. "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the BorgWarner employees for making my BorgWarner career so very special, it's been a wonderful journey."

IAC appoints Natale Rea as interim CEO

IAC appoints Natale Rea as interim CEO

International Automotive Components Group (“IAC”) announced that Natale “Nat” Rea has been appointed president and interim chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately.

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Robert S. "Steve" Miller, is retiring from IAC after three years as president and CEO. Rea brings over 40 years of automotive supplier experience. Prior to serving as president of his investment firm, Rea Holdings Inc. from 2012 to 2018, he served as president of the Automotive Division at Martinrea International, Inc, one of the world's largest producers of lightweight cast aluminium engine blocks, transmission housings and structural components. Martinrea was formed in 2002 when Rea International Inc. merged with another supplier.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nat to IAC," said IAC Group Chairman Stephen J. Toy, the senior managing director and co-head of WL Ross & Co. "Nat's in-depth knowledge of the industry combined with his operational experience and proven track record of driving growth makes him an ideal addition to IAC's senior management team. We thank Steve Miller for his significant contributions to IAC over the last three years, including the development of our long-range strategic plan, the establishment of our joint venture, Auria Solutions Ltd. with Shanghai Shenda Co. Ltd., as well as the successful recapitalisation of the company and wish him well in his future endeavours."

Feng Qingfeng to succeed Jean-Marc Gales as Lotus Global CEO

Feng Qingfeng to succeed Jean-Marc Gales as Lotus Global CEO

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), announced that Feng Qingfeng, vice president and chief technical officer of Geely Auto Group, has been appointed to succeed Jean-Marc Gales as chief executive officer of Group Lotus effective immediately.

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Jean-Marc Gales has chosen to leave for personal reasons and will become Chief Strategic Advisor to Lotus Chairman, Daniel Donghui Li.

Daniel Donghui Li, chief financial officer of Geely Holding and Lotus Cars Chairman, said, "Jean-Marc has stabilised and turned Lotus to profitability for the first time in the iconic brands history with new industry leading products and unique business models since joining the company in 2014. Lotus is poised for the next phase of growth under Feng Qingfeng's leadership, where its expertise in lightweight materials and sport car engineering will form part of the wider expansion of Geely 's automotive portfolio. At the same time I will welcome Jean-Marc's Council as Chief Strategic Advisor to myself and the Board of Directors."

Geely acquired a majority holding in UK-based Lotus as a part of its agreement last year to acquire 49.9% of the shares of Proton from Hicom Bhd (DRB) of Malaysia, Lotus's former parent company.

Feng Qingfeng said, "I am honoured to have been appointed to lead this iconic British sports car group. With Geely's global synergies and total support I am confident that Lotus has an exciting opportunity to achieve its full potential as a luxury sports brand, based around its engineering legacy and its future product pipeline."

In 2017 Group Lotus sold 1600 sports vehicles, an increase of 10% versus 2016, produced at its plant in Norfolk, England. In 2017 the company showed a profit for the first time in history.

Teemu Kangas-Kärki appointed new CFO at Noklan Tyres

Teemu Kangas-Kärki appointed new CFO at Noklan Tyres

Teemu Kangas-Kärki (M.Sc., Economics) has been appointed Nokian Tyres’ new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He will take up the position on July 16, 2018.

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Kangas-Kärki has served in various international business and corporate financial positions since 1992, most recently in Fiskars Plc. Simultaneously, Nokian Tyres has appointed Mr. Jukka Kasi (MSc., Electronics) to Vice President, Products and Technologies, starting October 1, 2018. Both Kangas-Kärki and Kasi will be members of Nokian Tyres management team and report to the President & CEO Hille Korhonen.

"Teemu Kangas-Kärki has a strong background as a CFO. His financial expertise and familiarity with the consumer goods and retail business in Europe and USA will be a major asset to us as we are aiming at doubling our sales in North America and growing our sales by 50% in Central Europe in the next 5 years, as well as maintaining our market leader positions in Nordics and Russia," said Hille Korhonen, President & CEO of Nokian Tyres.

Mr. Kasi will be responsible for leading and developing Nokian Tyres' global Product Management, Advance Development and R&D functions. Kasi has extensive experience in research and development and product management in various companies, most recently in Danfoss Drives as Vice President, Products & Segments.

"We are delighted to get Jukka into our team. He has proven track record of leading product management, operations, and R&D in global industrial business", said Korhonen.

Shailesh Chandra appointed as President of E-Mobility Business at Tata Motors

Shailesh Chandra appointed as President of E-Mobility Business at Tata Motors

To capture the opportunities arising out of new mobility trends and to bring organisational focus and alignment, Tata Motors announced the appointment of Mr. Shailesh Chandra to lead the Electric Mobility Business.

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He has been promoted as President, Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy, with immediate effect and will continue to be a member of the Executive Committee. Creation of this new business vertical will enable Tata Motors to deliver on its aspiration of providing innovative & competitive e-mobility solutions.

"Tata Motors is optimistic about the future of Electric vehicles and would play a leading role in the electric mobility evolution in the country. We will also leverage on the capabilities of other Tata Group companies to develop the full ecosystem and fast track the adoption of e-mobility." said, Mr. Guenter Butschek, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Tata Motors.

Shailesh has played an instrumental role in leading the project teams to deliver the EESL project and has been closely working with some of the Group companies and other ecosystem partners in his current role.

Shailesh Chandra, President- Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy said, "It is an exciting responsibility and I keenly look forward to drive Tata Motors' vision of proactively developing the E-Mobility ecosystem in the country and leveraging this new opportunity for the company."

Tata Motors says that it is committed to the Indian Government's vision for electric vehicles by 2030 and will work in a collaborative manner to facilitate faster adoption of electric vehicles.

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