Gonilni sili napredka

Intervju, ki ga berete, je nekaj izjemnega. V njem smo se s Hildegard Wortmann in Britto Seeger, članicama uprave Audija in Daimlerja, pogovarjali o prodajnih izzivih, raznolikosti in čustvih.

24.06.2020 Avtor: Mirella Sidro  Fotografije: Philipp Müller

Hildegard Wortmann

Gospa Seeger, gospa Wortmann, katera sta bila vajina prva avtomobila?

Britta Seeger: VW kabriolet moje mame. Letnik 1971. Moj je uradno postal šele pred dvemi leti. Še vedno ga zelo pozorno in ljubeče obnavljam.

 

Hildegard Wortmann: Jaz sem imela svetlozelenega VW Pola. Kupila sem si ga sama, denar sem si prislužila z inštrukcijami. Ko si napolnil 18 let, si pač moral imeti vozniški izpit in lasten avto.

Kaj pa vozita danes?
Hildegard Wortmann: Še vedno sem strastna voznica. Sicer nisem ravno tip za mehanika, a obožujem stare avtomobile. Kot sovoznica sem že trikrat sodelovala na dirki Mille Miglia. Kot članica uprave imam na izbiro ogromno floto avtomobilov, to prednost pa izkoriščam za preizkušanje novih modelov.


Britta Seeger: Tudi jaz rada vozim različne avtomobile. Če se le da, potujem z avtom in sem še vedno ljubiteljica kabrioletov.

 

Kako bo po vajinem mnenju epidemija COVID-19 vplivala na avtomobilsko industrijo?

Hildegard Wortmann: Vse večje krize imajo nekaj skupnega – ljudje se zaradi njih bolj povežejo in postanejo ustvarjalnejši pri iskanju rešitev. Razvoj se pospeši, odprejo se nove priložnosti. To velja tudi za epidemijo COVID-19, ki je megatrendu digitalizaciji dala dodaten zagon, ne le v avtomobilski industriji. Da bi ostali v stiku s kupci, smo se v minulih tednih in mesecih intenzivno osredotočili na naša digitalna orodja in storitve. S tem bomo nadaljevali in še bolj razvijali digitalne poslovne modele.

 

Britta Seeger: Pandemija je tudi pri naših kupcih pospešila uporabo digitalnih tehnologij, zato smo z našimi trgovskimi partnerji nadgradili obstoječo online ponudbo, kar je bilo zelo dobro sprejeto. Tudi mi se bomo še bolj intenzivno posvetili digitalnim kanalom in brezstičnim storitvam.

Hildegard Wortmann: 
Poleg tega se mi zdi pomembno ohranjati tudi odkrite in transparentne 'brezstične' stike s sodelavci in partnerji po vsem svetu. Medsebojno se spodbujamo in si izmenjujemo ideje o naši skupni prihodnosti.


Britta Seeger: Strinjam se. Trenutne izzive lahko premagamo le skupaj, kot ekipa. Je pa epidemija ponovno dokazala, da je osebna mobilnost še vedno zelo pomembna, zato bomo še naprej sodelovali v javni debati o trajnosti in ogljični nevtralnosti.

“We only create things that can become real in some form. The technology has to exist to make the concept feasible.”

Christian Bolognesi, Italdesign spokesman

The Pop.Up Next concept doesn’t herald a flying car per se, but a self-driving, self-flying, fully autonomous, electric-powered taxi. It’s designed to operate on a multi-mode principle. Two passengers sit in a capsule, which, for driving purposes, is attached to a four-wheel ground module that is also electric-powered and fully autonomous. For flight mode, the capsule is autonomously detached from the ground module, then attached to an eight-rotor air module or drone capable of vertical take-off.

Britta Seeger sedi na stolu

Avtomobilska industrija se je že v obdobju pred epidemijo soočala z velikimi spremembami. Kako boste ob vsem tem ljudi še naprej spodbujali k nakupom avtomobilov?

Britta Seeger: Še vedno se zelo dobro spomnim, kateri avto sem vozila v posameznih obdobjih svojega življenja. Nisem edina, ki verjame, da avtomobili odražajo našo osebnost in točno ta čustven vzgib igra najpomembnejšo vlogo pri odločanju o nakupu. Ampak, trenutno smo res v obdobju velikih sprememb. Imam odraščajoče trojčke, ki imajo na razpolago javni promet, nočne avtobuse, souporabo avtomobilov in vso prometno infrastrukturo, ki je mi prej nismo imeli. Zaradi vsega tega ljudje avtomobile kupujejo kasneje, ko so v to primorani zaradi osebnih okoliščin. Zadovoljevanje potrebe po mobilnosti bo torej še naprej izrazito oseben proces.


Hildegard Wortmann: 
Trenutne razmere vidim kot priložnost za našo znamko. Prestižne avtomobile ljudje redko kupujejo samo zaradi potrebe po mobilnosti. Tisti razlog več je zame odnos do življenja. Čustva so vedno dober razlog za nakup avtomobila.

 

Bodo avtomobili ponovno postali statusni simbol?

Hildegard Wortmann: Morda raje prostor posebnih izkušenj. Raziskave kažejo, da v avtomobilih porabimo vedno več časa. S stališča oblikovanja in storitev je to za nas velik poslovni potencial, še posebej na področju povezljivosti.

 

Britta Seeger: Pri mobilnosti naših kupcev nam največji izziv predstavljajo megamesta. Živela sem v Seulu in Istanbulu, kjer sem na lastni koži izkusila večurne prometne zamaške, ki v človeku vzbudijo močne čustvene odzive. Zato je zelo pomembno, da je kupcem v naših avtomobilih res udobno.

 

Kakšno vlogo bodo pri vsem tem imeli lokalni trgovci?
Britta Seeger: Prepričana sem, da je osebna izkušnja z znamko ključen strateški dejavnik, še posebej v današnjem digitaliziranem svetu. Več kot 80 odstotkov naših kupcev še vedno pričakuje osebno svetovanje in preizkusne vožnje. Kako pa bo neposredna prodaja izgledala čez 10 let? Veliko se bo spremenilo. Že sedaj opažamo drugačno obnašanje kupcev. V preteklosti so pred podpisom pogodbe prodajalca obiskali v povprečju osemkrat, sedaj ga le še enkrat ali dvakrat. Digitalna orodja so postala v procesu nakupa avtomobila zelo pomembna.

 

Hildegard Wortmann: Z digitalizacijo prodajnih platform pa postaja pomembenjši tudi osebni stik. Nov izraz 'figital' združuje fizično in digitalno komunikacijo, ki morata nastopati enotno in v očeh kupca odražati celovito identiteto znamke.

On board with Angus

“The aeronautical-inspired seatsfeature netting that adjusts to each passenger’s shape.”

Nicolas Bussetti, Designer, Italdesign

The concept certainly appears cool and suitably futuristic, both from outside and inside the ultra-minimalist cabin. My details and my ‘journey’ have already been pre-registered on an app on my smartphone and, as I settle into the seat, I’m recognised and welcomed aboard by PIA, my speaking Personal Intelligent Assistant. The seats certainly feel comfortable, and, currently, there’s sufficient space behind them to hold a couple of small bags, although it’s possible the flying taxi will be smaller in size when it reaches production. The ‘dashboard’ in front of me is one large screen that incorporates augmented-reality technology and enables me to highlight icons simply by moving my eyes


By pressing on a small touchpad mounted between the seats, I can then choose the ambient-lighting theme I desire, and the type of music I wish to listen to through the speakers built into the headrests. Naturally, there is plenty of glass area to provide occupants with a fine view as they soar over the city, although the floor below my feet is not transparent – and deliberately so, as Nicolas points out: ‘We wanted to create an open environment that enables passengers to enjoy the experience, but we also wanted to ensure they felt safe and weren’t frightened.’

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Trust is key

But how would I feel if I actually were in a real, electric battery-powered drone flight with no pilot in sight? ‘I’m sure people won’t trust an autonomous flying machine 100 per cent straight away – even though we already fly around the world in airliners on autopilot,’ Stefano Mancuso, the co-ordinator of Italdesign’s electric and electronic architecture project unit, tells me. ‘But by the time the flying taxi becomes a reality – say, by 2030 – we’ll all be very used to using autonomous cars. And, anyway, when the taxi’s in the air, there’ll always be human support at hand – there’ll always be someone passengers can talk to in a control centre who’ll be able to take remote control, if needs be.’ So, I invite an honest, quick-fire, one-word answer: would Stefano go up in the flying taxi? ‘Yes,’ comes the immediate reply. ‘I would. I won’t be on the first flight, though, as our CEO’s already signed up for that!’
One of the big problems we’ll have is acceptance.

Massimo Martinotti, head of mobility solutions, Italdesign

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The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

Hildegard Wortmann portret

Pogovorimo se o ciljnih skupinah: Kakšno vlogo imajo pri tem ženske in moški? Pogosto namreč slišimo, da imajo ženske pri nakupu avtomobila zadnjo besedo.
Hildegard Wortmann: Vloge niso več tako ločene. Spol ima veliko manjšo vlogo kot potrebe in miselnost. Pa generacije. Navdihniti moramo napredne ljudi, ki uporabljajo digitalne kanale in nove oblike mobilnosti. To je za nas ključnega pomena.


Britta Seeger: Fascinira me, da se ženskam velika izbira in kompleksne funkcionalnosti ne zdijo tako pomembe kot moškim. Večji poudarek dajejo prihranku časa in čustveni plati. Predvsem času – kar se mi zdi najbolj zanimiva razlika.


Kakšne voditeljske sposobnosti so v teh časih pomembne v avtomobilski industriji?

Hildegard Wortmann: Kot članica uprave se moram vprašati: zakaj delam kar delam in kakšno korist imajo od tega stranke? Sem velika zagovornica filozije 'nešefovstva', ki poskuša vzpostaviti novo korporativno kulturo izven starih hierarhičnih struktur. Pri tem sta ključnega pomena raznolikost in ideal soustvarjanja – če se le da na mednarodni ravni.


Britta Seeger: 
V času tako korenitih sprememb so skupna prepričanja zelo pomembna, s tem mislim osnovne vrednote s katerimi se vsi strinjamo. Klasični strateški pristopi danes niso več uporabni pri delu z mladimi. Mi iz vodstva imamo sicer izkušnje, a potrebujemo motnjo, ki jo prinašajo nove ideje.


Hildegard Wortmann: 
Zelo pomemben del mojega dela so srečanja in pogovori z mladimi talenti, brez prisotnosti njihovih nadrejenih. Te sveže glave so moji rock zvezdniki. Zelo sem počaščena, da imam možnost delati in ustvarjati z njimi.

 

Velike avtomobilske znamke so bile do sedaj vedno v domeni moških. Kje vidita izzive pri vzpostavljanju raznolikosti in enakopravnosti med spoloma?

Britta Seeger: Pri Mercedesu sem že 30 let. Danes je pri Daimlerju na vodstvenih položajih po vsem svetu približno 20 odstotkov žensk. Ampak strinjam se, to je še vedno pretežno moški posel. Kljub temu ima moja besedo enako težo kot njihova. Če mi kdaj ni uspelo, to ni bilo zaradi mojega spola, ampak zaradi mojih neprepričljivih argumentov. Tak je pač naravni zakon. Mlajšim ženskam poskušam svetovati, naj izpostavijo svoje edinstvene osebnosti in predvsem svoje prednosti. In naj ne iščejo razloga za neuspeh vedno le v svojem spolu.

 

Hildegard Wortmann: Na svojih vodstvenih položajih sva obe lahko zgled. Ta posel ni več tolčenje kovine, vedno bolj je v ospredju visoka tehnologija, zato tudi stare moško-ženske vloge niso več aktualne. Šteje zanimanje za nove medije in digitalizacijo, kar pa ni pogojeno s spolom. Med našimi mladimi sodelavci je 30 odstotkov žensk, aprila pa se mi je v upravnem odboru pridružila še ena ženska. Stvari se definitivno premikajo. Dovolj hitro? Ne. Nas mora biti več? Da, seveda. A je situacija občutno bolj pozitivna, kot sem jo videla pred nekaj leti.

 

Še zadnje vprašanje: koga bi vzeli s sabo na potovanje z avtomobilom po koncu ukrepov proti epidemiji koronavirusa?

Hildegard Wortmann: Navdušujejo me navdihujoči pogovori, zato zavestno iščem družbo ljudi, ki nikakor niso povezani z avtomobilsko industrijo. Seveda bi si želela srečanja, ki bi bilo odprto za izmenjavo idej in kjer bi se oba lahko učila drug od drugega.

 

Britta Seeger: Z družino sem pred nekaj leti letovala na Islandiji. Pobirali smo štoparje in prav vsak od njih nas je obogatil s svojo zgodbo. Ne želim si pa potnikov z negativnim odnosom do vsega. Navdušujeta me zanos in radovednost – v svojem pozitivnem smislu.

 

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The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

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“It’ll take a while for the drones to arrive in great numbers – maybe by 2030.”

Massimo Martinotti, head of mobility solutions, Italdesign

So, let’s assume that the technology can be developed to make the flying taxi operate safely, all legislative issues can be successfully resolved, and the public is happy not only to travel in such a vehicle but also to live in a city with them flying overhead. How might it all work in practice, and by when might it happen? ‘It’ll take a while for the drones to arrive in great numbers – maybe by 2030,’ explains Massimo. ‘We estimate that there could be 200,000 to 300,000 of them in operation all over the world by then, and several thousand could be deployed in a city like London. We envisage that, to start with, they’d operate in strict air corridors only, perhaps flying from the airport and landing on a tower downtown. But, in the long term, it may be possible to open up the sky and give them more freedom.’


While the current model is being designed to have a short, cross-city range, Massimo surmises that, as technology advances, it may even be possible for longer journeys to be undertaken. Massimo however is convinced the flying taxi will become a reality and is clearly very much looking forward to taking a flight in it. ‘After all,’ he adds with a smile, ‘humankind has always had the dream of taking to the sky, right back to the time of Leonardo da Vinci and his flying machines.’

1920x2500-mobil-e-mobility-blue-sky-thinking-036

The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

1920x2500-mobil-e-mobility-blue-sky-thinking-036

The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

1920x2500-mobil-e-mobility-blue-sky-thinking-036

The journey is the reward

The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.

To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.

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