When we spoke to Tim Wei about the challenges facing the automotive filtration sector in the coming years, his response was clear: “Freudenberg’s ability to innovate will be the key to our future success. Those who cannot innovate are not going to succeed long-term.”
Tim Wei first joined Freudenberg in September 2005 and his dynamic spirit found an immediate home. “I was attracted by the small team and the obvious passion of the managers who interviewed me. There was a real focus on enabling everyone to develop to the limits of their abilities.”
Tim Wei is currently Regional Director Automotive Filters China and a member of the Freudenberg Filtration Technologies China Leadership Team. Within that role, he has responsibility for driving the success of the entire Automotive Filters business in China, including sales, application engineering and the customer service function.
Before joining the senior management team, he held a series of positions that have given him a deep insight into the way the company as a whole functions. He originally joined as a sales engineer, before being quickly promoted to roles of increasing responsibility: first as key account manager, then sales manager and then sales director. April of this year, he was promoted into his current role.
His goal is clearly to ensure that Freudenberg Filtration Technologies offers the best combination of service and support for its customers. “If we want to be successful, we need to win the trust of our customers by meeting their strict requirements for innovative solutions and excellence in all areas of sales and support. This needs to be a win-win situation – they get what they need from us to develop their businesses and we create the conditions for our own long-term success.”
Tim Wei sees excellent opportunities for growth in the region. Although OEMs are currently struggling with the effects of over-supply in the market, being able to offer their customers value-added features can achieve considerable competitive advantage.
“As end-users become more aware of air pollution issues, they want to be sure the air inside their cars is clean. OEMs are now using the power of digitization to create solutions that display the actual air quality inside the cabin in real time. This in turn makes our high-performance cabin air filters essential to their offering.” Freudenberg’s innovation power and advanced technical capabilities are central to enabling OEMs to stay ahead by creating more innovative vehicles with tangible benefits.
Tim Wei is convinced that new mobility is the way forward long term. In this segment, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies has already won a leadership position in the China and Asia region. One of his core projects right now is working with a leading Japanese carmaker to create filtration solutions that specifically target the PM2,5 particle size, which is particularly relevant to electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
“I spend a lot of time on the road, meeting customers, learning about their needs and strengthening our personal relationships. In China, this often means long flights, and it’s not unusual for me and my team to do our internal meetings above the ground.”
In the 14 years he has been at Freudenberg, Tim Wei has seen many changes. In that time, he has married, started a family and seen several colleagues doing the same
Growing with his team is something to which he attaches great importance. Asked how he would assess the success of his time with the company in years to come, he commented: “It’s hard to think about my personal contribution in that way. What matters is the contribution of the whole team. Without that platform, without a strong team, nobody can achieve success.”