Dr Martin Lange has been Managing Director at SEGULA Technologies since 2018. He has more than 25 years of experience in the European industrial sector, most recently at the German subsidiary of French mobility company Alstom.
Mr Lange, Groupe PSA/Opel and Segula have recently signed a strategic partnership agreement aimed at creating a European Engineering Campus in Rüsselsheim. What are the most important aspects of this partnership, in particular from an employee perspective?
This project is very exciting news for the global automotive engineering industry, the employees and the local communities. We are fully committed to the sites in Rüsselsheim and Dudenhofen because we believe in this new company. For us, there has never been any doubt that we would continue the job guarantees agreed until 2023. Segula will build upon Opel engineers’ valuable knowledge to develop the site further and stay ahead of competitors by continuously investing in technological trends. By creating this engineering campus together, we want to open up new long-term perspectives for the people who join us from Opel.
You will play a key role in establishing the new R&D center. What is your vision for the envisaged European Engineering Campus?
Our vision is to create a leading engineering company in Germany that supports European and international customers with excellent full development services – in the automotive sector and other areas such as the rail industry, for example. Furthermore, the newly created European Engineering Campus will become the strong local development partner of Groupe PSA/Opel. With our joint capabilities we will drive innovation in the automotive industry and beyond to create a successful engineering company that is well-positioned for growth. I am excited about bringing together our engineering expertise with Opel’s experience to realise our vision.
The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center has traditionally been perceived as the core of Opel and has a strong German heritage. How will Segula incorporate this into the DNA of the new entity and foster a common culture in future?
First let me say that nobody intends to impose a new corporate culture on the employees who join us from Opel: we fully respect the unique heritage of Opel and attach great importance to a balanced and collaborative approach. Open dialog with the employees is very helpful to get a clear understanding of their perspective. For us, developing an engineering campus means combining Opel’s values with Segula’s strong focus on innovation. We are convinced that this will be a strong foundation for the campus’ successful future and its unique team spirit. And of course, our collaborative company culture will be underpinned by active cooperation with the employee representatives. Most importantly, our strategy is to succeed together, by which we mean we will empower all employees – those already at Segula and those joining us from Opel – to jointly establish a top-notch Engineering Campus in Rüsselsheim.
What should Engineering Center employees expect from the partnership with Segula?
From the beginning, the partnership will offer employees stability. The new entity will be a sound company with good growth prospects in a competitive environment. Then, once the campus is established, we plan to further develop the site by moving onto the next level of design and program complexity. It is our ambition to offer solutions that meet the technological changes the market requires. Segula will also foster an entrepreneurial spirit and give all employees the opportunity to contribute their ideas, visions and individual knowledge, and to pursue their career paths as managers or experts. Our aim to “succeed together” is an integrative project. We are joining forces for a common goal: to shape the future of automotive technology as a true complete vehicle developer with a strong team of excellent minds.
Mr Lange, not everyone at Opel is familiar with Segula’s business. From your point of view, what makes the company stand out?
Segula is a fast-growing international engineering company. We are a multi-specialist across various sectors and provide turnkey solutions in close collaboration with our customers around the globe. Our 12,000 employees are active across 28 countries, where they are striving to enhance solutions and develop new approaches. Innovation is at the heart of Segula’s corporate identity and strategy. We are already playing a major role in developing new ways of driving and innovative assistance systems. Segula already carries out more than 200 projects annually in R&D, including in augmented reality, 3D printing, connected cars and energy efficiency.
Segula has been steadily increasing its presence in Germany for several years now. What makes the German market so attractive for Segula?
We are convinced by the German way of engineering. Germany is the largest single global market for external engineering services in the automotive industry and is set to continue growing – from €4bn currently to €6bn by 2023. In Germany, we have already formed a strategic partnership with automotive experts ESG Mobility and acquired automotive design specialists EK Design and Technicon Design. The German market offers very promising growth opportunities for complex first-class engineering services. That is why we also plan to further grow our footprint in Germany – and the partnership is an important step towards gaining significant market share.
SEGULA Technologies is a leading engineering specialist, helping to boost competitiveness within all the major industrial sectors, e.g. automotive, aerospace, and rail. Placing innovation at the heart of its strategy, it operates in 28 countries worldwide with 12,000 employees working in its 140 offices. As an engineering specialist, SEGULA Technologies undertakes large-scale projects, ranging from technical studies to industrialization and production.
“Finally we grow the campus into a true complete vehicle developer for the world’s major OEMs.”
And what are the technological trends you will focus on to position the R&D center for future growth?
We will focus on providing leading edge Vehicle Engineering solutions, efficient development of optimized Powertrain technology and full-cycle Vehicle and Powertrain test capabilities. This will include the areas of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), connectivity and e-mobility. By embracing and leading technological trends, we plan to sustainably strengthen our market position.
Mr Lange, you previously worked at Alstom Germany for a couple of years. From your experience, what are the prerequisites for successful and productive cross-border teamwork?
Segula has strong experience in cross-border teamwork. At Segula, we have a very good understanding of the German work culture as we have been operating in the country for several years, and we have already established a fruitful cooperation with EK Design and Technicon Design. The new entity will be managed by a joint team of leaders coming from Opel and Segula. This team will enable us to learn from each other in an atmosphere of the highest mutual respect – and will act as a bridge between the two work cultures. We will draw on our many years’ experience of successfully integrating new teams and divisions into Segula, including our integration of PSA’s test centre at La FertéVidame.
Mr Lange, one final question: what would you like to tell the Engineering employees with regard to the future? What are the concrete next steps for the European Engineering Campus?
We are convinced that we can create true engineering excellence in the automotive sector and beyond. This will be a success story for all involved. Our first aim is to establish the campus by valuing our engineers’ expertise as well as to stabilize relationships with our customers. We will soon move to the next level of design and program complexity and finally grow the campus into a true complete vehicle developer for the world’s major OEMs. To achieve this, I am striving for a trustful and transparent cooperation and would also like to ask all Opel employees for their support and trust. Let’s create a core European Engineering Campus together!