March 11, 2003
Chrysler Group President stresses need for “New Breed” of engineers
Detroit, Michigan – Speaking to more than 1,200 engineers and industry executives at the 2003 SAE World Congress in Detroit, Michigan, Dieter Zetsche, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chrysler Group said a new breed of “car guy” is needed to adapt and excel in a new market climate in order for a company to maintain product leadership within the automotive industry.
Zetsche said, “In today’s automotive world – – defined by a fast-paced market, rapidly advancing technology, complex regulations and ever-changing geo-politics – – natural instincts will not be enough.”
During his speech, Zetsche reflected on the importance of engineers to rediscover their “inner car guy. There is no guarantee of success, reward or happiness in our profession – – or in any other for that matter. But, every now and again, we need to relight the flame. We’re going to need a new breed of car guy…for a new era. That new car ‘guy’ is as likely to be defined by women engineers as it is by men.”
According to Zetsche, two critical ingredients that will define this new breed are passion and science – – “a passion for the product, balanced with the knowledge and discipline of engineering and science.”
Zetsche also spoke of a need for the new breed of car guy to be comfortable in the arts of diplomacy and communication. “The difficult technical challenges we’re taking on today to meet a host of customer, regulatory and market requirements will not be solved by just bending sheet metal, adding cubic inches, boosting horsepower or offering new trim packages,” he added.
But Zetsche also noted that, “as much as things change in this industry…with all of the highly technical challenges in safety, emissions, alternative fuels, you name it…it still comes down to building great product.”