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!
Harald J. Wester
Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer
Harald Wester was appointed Chief Technical Officer and Head of Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Maserati and named a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) on September 1, 2011.
He was appointed Chief Technical Officer for Fiat Group in September 2007. In addition to this role, in August 2008 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Maserati S.p.A., in January 2009 Chief Executive Officer of Abarth & C. S.p.A and in January 2010 Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Romeo Automobiles.
Mr. Wester started his professional career at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, where he was General Manager of the Vehicle Research & New Concepts department from 1991 to 1995.
Later that year, he joined Audi AG in Ingolstadt where he became Program Manager for the A2 models & Special Vehicles, a position that he held until January 1999.
Subsequently, he joined Ferrari S.p.A. at Maranello as Director of Product Development, where he remained until January 2002.
Mr. Wester was then hired by Magna Steyr AG , Magna AG (Graz, Vienna) as Group President Engineering and Chief Technical Officer (Research, Development and Technologies).
In 2004 he joined the Fiat Group where he took on the role of Chief Technical Officer of Fiat Group Automobiles.
Mr. Wester was born in Linz am Rhein, Germany. He obtained a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Braunschweig University.