International automotive industry expert Ralf Kalmbach joins management-consulting firm Bain & Company as of 1 September 2017. The proven expert with extensive international experience in the automotive industry will co-head the firm’s global Automotive Practice Group together with Bain partner Dr. Klaus Stricker. He will be based in Munich.
Kalmbach has more than 30 years of experience in the international automotive industry, advising carmakers as well as suppliers throughout the world. He focuses primarily on brand and technology strategies, vehicle architecture and modularization strategies, company organization as well as M&A projects.
The entire automotive industry is currently undergoing a fundamental transformation. New drive forms, such as electric cars, tighter rules for emissions and innovative mobility concepts are compelling the sector to rethink and act. The far-reaching consequences of digitalization, evidenced in areas such as autonomous driving, are turning up the pressure on carmakers to be innovative. Faced with these many challenges, Germany’s key industry must completely reposition itself to maintain and expand its previously strong position in the global market.
“Ralf Kalmbach is one of the leading experts in the automotive industry and is a huge gain for Bain,” said Walter Sinn, head of Bain Germany. “His exceptional sector experience will be a substantial advantage as we look to support our clients in successfully and securely navigating the disruption currently headed our way.” Kalmbach will particularly support the clients in M&A, due diligence and innovation processes.
He believes that product quality and brand reputation are no longer the unique selling points of the automotive industry. “Going forward, it will be crucial for carmakers to convince customers on the basis of new drive technologies, autonomous and partially-autonomous driving systems and digital innovation,” said Kalmbach. “The major automobile companies must win back their former leadership in innovation amid these new market conditions. Acquisitions of technology specialists can also serve to strengthen their own position.”
Before joining Bain, Kalmbach where he was a global leader in the automotive sectors for two other consulting firms. He began his career as an engineer at Daimler AG.
Kalmbach, who studied industrial engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, is author and editor of several specialist books such as Brand Management in Automotive and Successful in China.