10 questions to10 August 2022
Hi, my name is
Sebastian Quick. My formal title is VP of R&D at Landskrona, Sweden. I am responsible for product development of foundation brake products in Europe. That means air disc brakes, brake adjusters and actuators. I have a team of about 30 co-workers.
The best thing about my job is
Diversity. I can work with customers, which I personally enjoy. I also work with a very competent team, making them grow, and making us as an organisation deliver on expectations. The third aspect is technology development, both in existing and new technology. Fourth is exploring commercial opportunities and finding ways of doing business that are good for Haldex and its customer base.
How long I’ve been at Haldex, and my favourite work memory
I originally joined Haldex in 2001, in what was then the Traction division, which was divested to a different company. I joined Haldex brake products in 2016. I have four favourite memories. The first is a test drive of a Unimog offroad truck in Germany. That was at the beginning of the process to develop its truck brake, and the target of Daimler was to give us a feel of what the need was and what the vehicle is subjected to. It was my first time in a Unimog, and those forces were quite challenging. That was exciting. The second memory was starting production of that brake. It was the first production of a truck brake version of the ModulT platform, which has been until then only for trailers. The third memory was installing an EMB prototype on a European truck manufacturer prototype, which started up with relatively few issues and problems. As the first real customer installation and delivery of the EMB system, in autumn 2019, that was another company milestone. The fourth memory was an India workshop, my second in my previous role as global projects director. We went to the Haldex India site in Pune, outside Mumbai, for a workshop, and then as a team-building exercise, we climbed a fortress outside Pune that was several hundred metres high. That was a challenging climb with a spectacular view. It was very hands-on.
At work, the person I most look up to is
I look up to colleagues that show loyalty, dedication and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They include not only the staff I manage but also the Landskrona plant manager Philip Andersson; senior commercial product manager Charlotte Wall; and my sourcing colleague David Ekström that sits in Sweden, for example.
My perfect work-day lunch
When the situation allows for more than a 10-minute lunch, I like to have a relaxed work/leisure lunch with colleagues, with something that the Landskrona canteen does well, like beef stew.
Early bird or night owl?
I am definitely a night owl. I can do early mornings if required, but I do not function well before my first cup of strong coffee.
If I weren’t working at Haldex, I’d be
Exploring technology or business development elsewhere, while racing cars in my spare time. I am in an amateur championship in a relatively big club. It’s for fun; it’s not prestigious. But there is some tight racing in the five races a season. I race on tracks in southern Sweden on a modified Mazda MX-5. Its interior has been taken out and equipped with different brakes, suspension, a roll cage; it weighs 980kg. Nothing has been done to the engine, which is 140hp. It’s not so powerful, but corners quickly.
The song or soundtrack to my life
I’m fond of the British group Muse. Its song ‘Uprising’ can be interpreted in many ways. I choose to interpret it as challenging and questioning truth and not giving up; finding a way out and making sure that you come out winning.
My favourite tool
I have three choices for this one. First is the business case: not a specific one, but something to evaluate business sanity. It’s really useful to create common gains for Haldex and the customers. Second -- and I hate to say it -- Microsoft PowerPoint. To the level I use it, it has to go on the list, as a tool to develop and communicate messages to all sorts of different audiences. Third is an adjustable wrench: it’s never the best fit in any situation, but it fits in all situations. What attracts me is the idea of the flexibility of the tool; you can interpret that as a multi-talented person that knows a little about a lot of things.
One thing people may not know about me is
I grew up partly in Africa as a child. I spent six years there when my parents were doing aid work (they weren’t missionaries). From the ages of 4-7, we lived in Mozambique, and from 10-12 we lived in Cape Verde. That had a big influence on my life.