OEM & Lieferant Ausgabe 2/2019 - OEM & Supplier 2/2019 by VEK Publishing

143 Innovations In search of new technologies The automobile of the future By Thomas Magnete What needs does it have to meet? How safe and connected is it? And what drives it? These are some of the questions facing Martin Schmidt, Head of Product Management and New Business in the Passenger Car unit at Thomas. He knows the market and is well aware that only those with the capacity to generate innovative ideas will be able to maintain a strong position and compete effectively. Hardly any other sector is undergoing change on the same scale as the automotive industry. Rapid advances and disruptive technologies are placing greater demands than ever on suppliers. Thomas is ready for this challenge, and Martin’s experience gives the company an edge in the race to develop new technologies. His role includes advising the Automotive unit on new product solutions and its strategic di- rection. Martin trained as a tool mechanic and me- chanical engineer. He has been with Thomas for 16 years, starting as a pre-development engineer. He has been a series development project manager and a product manager in the Engine Management and Chassis unit. „As a development partner, we are an important pillar of the automotive industry, which is in the process of completely repositioning itself in search of alternative drive options such as electrification,“ he explains. „Our task is to play an active role in shaping this path.“ Before you can launch yourself into devel- oping new solutions apart from series pro- duction, you need to analyze the market and assess your own areas of expertise very care- fully. „Our innovative strength is based on our know-how and the courage to think outside the box,“ observes Martin. „Our focus on the sequence “Sense. Think. Act” plays a crucial role in this respect, because it is precisely these functionalities that customers are looking for in the areas of alternative drive systems, net- working, and connectivity.“ Especially in the fields of engine, exhaust, transmission, and thermal management, Thomas has repeat- edly demonstrated its capacity for innovation and ability to sense what its customers need. „Thomas was recently promoted to the status of development partner by a major premium OEM. As such, we will be working with the cli- ent’s other partners to develop and implement future technologies.“ Another building block of success is network- ing – in all directions. „Keeping a close ear to the customer and exchanging ideas with in- house and external experts is fundamental to my work and its success,“ concludes Martin Schmidt. „I hold frequent discussions with our in-house development departments – e.g., with Björn Schuh in the Electronics unit (see page 8). At the same time, my role involves at- tending regular conferences and symposiums. Most importantly of all, though, you have to remain focused on your customer. That’s where our slogan comes in: ‘Understand. Cre- ate. Deliver.‘“ Thomas Magnete www.thomas-magnete.com Website Martin Schmidt Director Product- & New Business Development Phone +49 2744 929-307 martin.schmidt@thomas-magnete.com Contact Image: © Thomas Magnete Martin Schmidt