Nominate your 2015 Rising Star

MARKUS FLASCH

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Career Advice: Start in engineering and take every opportunity you can to gather international experience.

Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?

A: I started as an aerodynamics engineer at Audi in Ingolstadt. I became a big fan of cars as a boy because the father of my friend used to pick us up from school on Saturdays in his 1980s Porsche Turbo. I will never forget the power and the sound of that car. It was then that I knew that I would spend my time with cars.

Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

A: Climbing the Ortler North Wall in Italy.

Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?

A: Not spending more time traveling the world after university. Money was the issue then but I had the time. Today it is the opposite. I should have borrowed some money.

Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?

A: That there are so many purely cost-driven sourcing decisions made instead of focusing on building long-term, quality-oriented relationships.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?

A: Managing various programs and launches for convertible roofs globally. And every convertible launch provides some surprises no matter how diligently you prepare.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

A: Show respect but have no fear.

Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?

A: Start in engineering and take every opportunity you can to gather international experience.

Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?

A: Spend as much time as possible at the plant and build a strong relationship with the people on the shop floor.

Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?

A: CEO at an automaker.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

A: I like to work out, especially outdoors by taking part in sports such as skiing, mountaineering, biking and running.

Q: FIRST CAR?

A: VW Golf.

Q: CURRENT CAR?

A: BMW Z3 M Coupe.

PROFILE
NAME: Markus Flasch
TITLE: Director of program management
COMPANY: Magna Car Top Systems
LOCATION: Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany
AGE: 30
FAMILY: Unmarried
BORN: Wagrain, Austria
NATIONALITY: Austria
LANGUAGES: German, English
EDUCATION: Master's degree in engineering with emphasis on car technology, the University of Applied Sciences (FH Joanneum), Graz, Austria

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
2010 to present: Director, program management, Magna Car Top Systems
2010: Executive assistant to CEO (Bo Andersson), Group GAZ
2008-2010: Executive assistant to co-CEO (Siegfried Wolf), Magna International
2006-2008: Program management, Magna Steyr China
2003-2006: NVH engineer, Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik
2002-2003: Aerodynamics engineer, Audi AG


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