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Kongsberg Automotive provides world-class products to the global vehicle industry. Our products enhance the driving experience, making it safer, more comfortable and sustainable. With revenues of approx. EUR 1.1 billion and approximately 11.500 employees in 19 countries, Kongsberg Automotive is truly a global supplier. The company is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland and has more than 25 production facilities worldwide. The product portfolio includes seat comfort systems, driver and motion control systems, fluid assemblies, and industrial driver interface products developed for global vehicle manufacturers.

Design Engineering Director Asia


WUXI Jiangsu, CN, 214028

Country/Region:  CN


Area of responsibility        : Management of the R&D function and facility at location stated

Superior                             : GM Asia, P&C

Location                              :  Wuxi, China


Main objectives

To manage the R&D department and applying effective use of resources and facilities to meet Business Area and customer targets. To participate in the R&D management group of the Business Area to set and attain key performance indicators that deliver the strategic targets set by the supervisor.


Areas of responsibility

The R&D Centre Manager is responsible for the following activities:

  • To develop an efficient and skilled team organization with a clear assignment of responsibilities and duties.
  • To establish and maintain budget, annual objectives and to deliver results to objectives by ensuring the optimum use of all R&D resources.
  • To lead direct reports in their functional areas, including Innovations and Application engineering.
  • To establish and develop an efficient and skilled team organization with a clear assignment of responsibilities and duties (Design, Prototypes and Test) as required.
  • Together with the V.P Engineering and the other R&D Directors in the Business Area set up measurable objectives for his/her own organization and for the area of responsibility, and to follow up that the objectives are reached.
  • To promote standardization and use of best design practices and continuous improvement of products working within the framework of the New Product Implementation process (NPI), or other product development process as stated within the management guidelines.
  • To analyze future R&D requirements and to propose necessary actions.
  • To provide routine and consistent assessment of competitive products and technologies to support Product Roadmaps and to lead benchmarking activities.
  • To support the cross functional teams in STC in R&D phases/tasks
  • To promote innovation within the teams.
  • To carry through the group’s strategy for the R&D department by supporting the execution of the Strategic Plan (STP).
  • To ensure the long-term improvement of the R&D department through a demonstrated effort to develop the qualifications of the staff as well as to acquire productive and flexible R&D equipment.
  • To establish, to maintain and continuously improve the total quality assurance of the R&D department in accordance with the policy, routines and quality manual of KA.
  • To observe public law, directives, provisions and concessions with regard to health, environment and safety, and to follow agreements made with external and internal parties.


Personal tasks

The personal tasks of the R&D Region Director consist of, but are not limited to, the following activities, which are completed with specific goals via the KAPer Target setting and Performance Review Process:

  • To participate or allocate resource in the preparation of quotations (CER), as well as in negotiations and other contacts with customers.
  • To participate with the Purchasing Department when selecting suppliers.
  • To represent the R&D department inside and outside the company as agreed upon.
  • To evaluate future R&D requirements and to carry through projects.
  • To participate in the R&D management group of the division.
  • To participate in the Program Steering Committee (STC).
  • Actively to report to the R&D V.P. following normal reporting routines, to report events and situations for which no reporting routines exist and to provide on-demand visibility of project status.
  • To ensure the observance of the quality system through :
  • A clearly defined assignment of responsibilities and duties towards other managers.
  • A regular review of the quality system.
  • The handling of system non-conformities and other matters put forward by the quality manager.
  • The implementation of continuous improvements in the whole area of responsibility.
  • The promotion of internal audits to review compliance
  • The training and mentoring of sub-ordinates to achieve R&D compliance in accordance with the policy, routines and quality manual of KA.
  •  To support that corporate health and environment policies are implemented.


Main challenges

The most important challenge of the Business Area is to maintain the competitiveness of KA against other competitors within the product sector.  The most important challenges of the R&D Centre Manager are thus the following ones:

  • To make an unbiased analysis of the strong and weak points of the products as well as external threats and possibilities on the basis of his/her knowledge of the future requirements of the customer and the expected future position of competitors.
  • To put forward proposals for strategic amendments connected with competence, organization, products, plants and equipment which will safeguard the competitive position of the Business Area.
  • To achieve an optimum use of all R&D resources in Innovations and Application Engineering teams while ensuring on-time execution of programs and customer milestones delivery.
  • To carry through reengineering projects (continuous improvement and VAVE activities).
  • To build region to become a self-supporting technical organization, while maintaining coordination of resources to other regions


 Important external contacts

  • Customers:    Support of the Sales & Program department, and to understand, develop and improve customer relationships.
  • Suppliers:       When required to participate in the choice of supplier, quality matters, personal contacts.
  • Institutions:   Contacts with schools for head-hunting and examination work.  Contacts with institutions and associations of                                    research and development.
  • Competitors: Identification of key staff that may benefit KA in increasing its continuing drive for knowledge and progression


 Competence profile (ideal)

  • Education: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of eight years’ experience as a Design and Engineering leader in automotive industry.
  • Practical experience  and skills:
  • Leadership in companies with their own product development.
  • Competence in and experience of Design and product/process development.
  • Competence in and experience of production, quality, purchasing, marketing and/or product/process development.
  • A high degree of personal integrity and confidence.
  • Ability to make quick decisions based on a combination  of experience and analysis as well as advice from other people.
  • Leadership personal drive, believability and charisma to win team buy in.
  • Ability to manage in a pressurised environment, remaining focused on key objectives and strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to lead and work within cross functional teams
  • Self discipline in time management with a proven track record of success against corporate and strategic targets.
  • Effective communicator adept at presenting to Board level within KA & the customer
  • Special requirements:
  • Deep knowledge of automotive product design and development methodologies.
  • Ability to produce good written reports, and relevant presentations
  • Have a good command of spoken and written language within the region employed and English.



  • To prioritize competence and capacity in the R&D teams.
  • To prioritize between different projects.
  • To hire required personnel.
  • To utilize external consultants.
  • To act independently within the compass of the fixed budget.
  • To act independently within the compass of the current rules of the company.
  • To approve all basic technical data in the R&D teams.

Success criteria (KPI)

  • To lower Cost Budget
  • To pass programs’ gates on time.
  • To maximize number of inventions and patent applications.
  • To minimize number of design hours after tools kick off
  • To maximize value of products’ contribution margin.

We want your integrity, accountability, creativity and teamwork mindset and skills

In Kongsberg Automotive we embrace diversity within our workforce. We make recruiting decisions based on experience and skills and pride ourselves on having a strong culture of leadership, diversity and inclusiveness.

We aim to employ the world’s brightest minds, providing a limitless pool of ideas and opportunities, who will incorporate our core values within their work. We believe in hiring talented people of varied backgrounds, experiences and styles and offer an unlimited contract within a dynamic and international environment with prospects for personal growth.

Welcome to an outstanding career in Kongsberg Automotive!

Application Id:  882
Posting date::  Apr 1, 2021