Ralf Kalmbach is to strengthen the partner group of the international 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 global Automotive Practice Group together with Bain partner Dr. Klaus Stricker. The 56 year-old will be managing his clients from the Munich offices.
Kalmbach can look back on more than 30 years’ experience in the international automotive industry. He had advised both carmakers as well as suppliers throughout the world. The main focus of his work was 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 stepping up the innovation pressure on carmakers. Faced with these many challenges, Germany's key industry must completely reposition itself. This is the only way that it will 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, both in specialist as well as personal terms", stresses Walter Sinn, Head of Bain Germany. "His exceptional sector experience will make a substantial contribution towards supporting our clients in successfully and securely mastering all the unpredictabilities currently heading our way." Kalmbach will particularly support the clients in M&A, due diligence and innovation processes.
The new Bain Partner believes that product quality and brand reputation are no longer sufficiently represented as 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", Kalmbach explains. "The major automobile companies must win back their former innovative leadership in these new market conditions. Acquisitions of technology specialists can also serve to strengthen their own position."
Before joining Bain, Kalmbach had worked at A.T. Kearney and Roland Berger where he held top functions in the automotive sector for which he had worldwide responsibility. His career started 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".