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CEO Spotlight: Aludyne’s Andreas Weller

Andreas Weller is the president and chief executive officer of Aludyne. MICHauto spoke with Weller about his experience as a leader and his top advice for young automotive professionals and the next generation.

What would you tell young professionals about our automotive industry to keep them in Michigan?

There has never been a more exciting time to be in the auto industry. The industry is changing in several fundamental ways, all at once. The way people are using the product is changing; increasingly people are utilizing mobility services in urban centers rather than buying a vehicle. The product is changing drastically; the change from combustion engines to electric drives is upending the industry and driving change across the value chain. These changes open the door for completely new entrants: Uber, Didi, Tesla, etc. have created billions in market value and are challenging traditional market participants. Furthermore, the auto industry is a truly global industry. If you want the opportunity to live and work abroad and work with people across the globe, come and join the auto industry. You are sure to have an exciting career, with the opportunity to experience a multitude of challenges and learn a lot in a very short time.

What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?

Successful leaders continue to learn and adapt. The world is changing very fast, we have to learn and change with it. You are not the smartest in the room and others know a lot more about any given subject than you will. Learn from them and seek their advice and counsel. Keep asking questions.

What advice do you have for the next generation?

Make sure you don’t get “siloed” in your career. Look for opportunities to work in different roles, different functions, and multiple countries and regions. You will have a much more rewarding career and will become a much more valuable employee. This will not only advance you professionally, it will also help you grow as a person. Take some risk and don’t be discouraged if a move doesn’t seem to work out right away. Everything is a learning opportunity.

What is your prediction for electric or autonomous vehicles over the next 5 years? The next 10 – 20 years?

The trend towards electric vehicles is irreversible. China and Europe are leading the conversion from combustion engines to electric drives. This trend will accelerate and automotive OEMs are designing their global platforms to meet the customer needs in those markets. As we continue to invest in the required infrastructure around the world and costs are coming down, consumers will increasingly embrace and demand electric vehicles globally. Autonomous driving will take a lot longer. We will continue to see the adoption of autonomous vehicles in geo-fenced areas followed by commercial vehicle applications. That’s where there is a real business case. There will be continued adoption of driver assist systems for convenience and safety in the passenger case but Level 5 autonomous systems in any appreciable volume will take a lot longer.