John Jensen is President & CEO for Autoliv-Nissin Brakes Systems (ANBS). ANBS is a joint venture between Autoliv and Nissin Kogyo which began operations on April 1, 2016. ANBS focuses upon the design, development and production of “brake control and brake apply systems” for the global light vehicle market, with manufacturing facilities in Japan, China and the United States. In the following Q&A, John shares with us his valuable insights on the topics of leadership and success.
TBR: What is your current role and area of responsibility?
JJ: I am President and CEO of an exciting new company. I call it new because we just brought together the power of two well-known players in the automotive industry: Autoliv and Nissin Kogyo. We have been operating for just over a year now and I think sometimes my responsibility is best described as “Chief Integration Officer”. The culture we are creating for our company is a good blend of both our parents and we have progressed very well to be one unified team.
TBR: How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you?
JJ: My style tends towards more participative leadership. I very much value the input of my team members and peers but understand the final call rests with me. We have brought together some of the best and brightest from both Autoliv and Nissin Kogyo, so we have a very experienced and motivated leadership team. This style has worked out rather well so far as we have so many professionals to rely upon.
TBR: What do you see as your biggest challenge right now?
JJ: Due to our size and position in the industry we feel we are much more agile than our bigger competitors and are able to listen much more closely to the customer’s voice. But it is never enough – we have to be innovative not just in our products but in the way each of us works. A company is made of people, so our people must realize how they can change in order for us to take ANBS to the next level. We must become even more agile.
TBR: What do you look for when evaluating top talent?
JJ: We have been successful to bring together top talent in the industry and continue to look for enthusiastic, inquisitive new talent to join us because we are pursuing new ideas and bringing innovation and increased performance into the market. For me, an important factor these days is a good fit into the team we are building. It is important that the attitude and values of candidates match well with others on the team.
TBR: What was your first job in Industry?
JJ: My first job was as project manager for airbag application projects for Japanese OEMs. That was for Autoliv in 1991, so I have been with this company for my entire post-collegiate career and I can’t imagine going anywhere else.
TBR: What is the best career advice you have been given?
JJ: Run towards turmoil, not away. Growth is more accessible to those that step into a messy situation and make a difference.
TBR: Name your favorite / recent book(s) you have read:
JJ: The most recent book I have read is The 100-Year Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott. It talks about how our lives will be much longer than has ever historically been the case. A child born today as an over 50% chance of living to be over 105. This will create change in how society and businesses operate, but also opens up huge opportunities if we plan appropriately.
TBR: What is your favorite quote and why?
JJ: “Begin with the end in mind.” – Steven R. Covey
This is my favorite quote because it cuts through the clutter and gets to the heart of on what we should base our decisions and helps maintain the long term view.
TBR: How do you see the industry evolving over the next 5-10 years and do you have any bold predictions for us?
JJ: With the accelerating progress in autonomous driving, precisely how we control the motion of the vehicle becomes increasingly more important. Direct integration of new braking systems with Active Safety features will be a key to success and provide safety and value to the vehicle OEMs and ultimately the vehicle owners themselves.
TBR: Tell us a something that most people might not know about you or your organization.
JJ: ANBS is part of a proud part of an organization whose products help save over 30,000 lives each year and we are working towards a goal of saving over 150,000 lives every year.
About Autoliv-Nissin Brake Systems
Autoliv-Nissin Brake Systems is a joint venture of Autoliv and Nissin Kogyo.
Autoliv is the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, providing automotive safety systems and services to all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Nissin Kogyo is a leading supplier of high-performance braking systems for automotive and non-automotive markets. Autoliv-Nissin focuses upon the design, development and production of “brake control and brake apply systems” for the global light vehicle market, with manufacturing facilities in Japan, China and the United States. The company started its operation April 1, 2016.
Over the past one hundred years, human beings have enjoyed faster and easier transportation with the invention and increasingly wide use of automobiles. As a result, road safety has become more and more important in our daily lives. As one of the most safety-related parts of the car, braking systems continue to experience rapid, innovative developments. Empowered by the advanced technologies of Autoliv and the strong product foundation of Nissin Kogyo, Autoliv-Nissin Brake Systems (ANBS) is actively working to contribute to the development of this industry.
Targeting strong growth, ANBS is supporting the current customer base while exploring new opportunities with other automotive OEMs. As we move towards achieving our business targets, we keep our vision of “Saving More Lives” in mind and work with strong innovative capability, agile operational excellence, transparent organization and an eco-friendly attitude. Looking ahead, ANBS is determined to be a market leader in brake control and actuation technologies, especially those needed for the future car.