Harald J. Wester
Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer
Harald J. Wester is the Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of the FIAT Group.
Spotlight on FIAT Group
FIAT Group products range from small cars to light commercial vehicles (Fiat Group Automobiles - FGA - and its brands Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Maserati, Fiat Professional), from light/mid commercial vehicles up to heavy trucks (IVECO), agricultural machines and construction equipment (CNH).
Renewing its product range to create a fresh vision of mobility on a human scale - sustainable and liveable - FIAT Group is striking a balance between experience, creativity and technology: a truly innovative business model, capable of generating stakeholder value and improving competitiveness over the long term to satisfy an increasing demand for products which progressively break new ground in terms of safety, performance and environmental compatibility. A program that must draw from synergies between all Fiat Group Businesses and be sustained by the high value-added cross-organizational research conducted at Centro Ricerche Fiat and Elasis, the scientific hubs of the FIAT Group.
One of key focuses is on power-train innovation, the objective being to consolidate and further improve the position of leadership in fuel consumption (FGA brands are leaders among European car manufacturers in terms of CAFE) - thanks to the new innovative two cylinder MULTIAIR gasoline engine- and in environmental compatibility (IVECO emission levels anticipated Euro5 regulations by two years). Alternative Propulsion Systems are also widespread both in cars and trucks: engines running on natural gas are already available on a wide range of car models and light/mid size Commercial Vehicles, while Hybrids and Full-Electric power-trains are emerging with the first fleets of commercial vehicles.
In accordance with the FIAT Group Strategy, innovation must prove its usefulness in everyday life, such as Blue&Me (in Standard, Nav and Map versions), the first car-integrated system that allows drivers to use their own personal devices in the same natural way as at home. Since consumer products have very short life cycles, Blue&Me has been conceived to be directly compliant with new devices. With regard to safety, solutions are evolving from being passive (5 stars EUNCAP rating for all new cars since 2005) to active and even "preventive": the driver is being increasingly assisted by systems that extend its `field of perception´ and provide direct support, such as helping the vehicle to stay in the right lane.
Reducing time-to-market and lowering production costs - without compromising final product quality- have been the two major enablers for successful products of FGA, IVECO and CNH over recent years. Tremendous gains have been achieved in this respect through widespread use of Virtual Analysis, Component Standardization and "Architecture Sharing". Opportunities provided by new technologies, as well as the need to respect upcoming regulations, are now tackled within FIAT by means of a cross-Business approach, leveraging more resources to achieve results applicable in different Businesses as concerns engineering methods and tools, and advances in materials in particular.
Significant steps forward in speed, cost, quality and innovation to meet the challenges of a sustainable future!