Site Leaders Discuss Development of Visteon Technology Center in Timisoara
Strategically positioned to assist Visteon's European development footprint, Timisoara supports existing facilities in Bulgaria, Germany, France and the UK; and OEM partners including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and PSA. With the target of transforming customer requirements into fully tested solutions and building the site's core software, system and functional safety teams, Timisoara is looking to expand substantially in both capacity and capabilities to provide a platform to serve its lofty ambitions.
Here, site leaders in software engineering and HR talk about the facility's achievements to date, what tasks and challenges employees can expect to tackle on a daily basis, and the route to success for the center's future plans.
Q. How would you assess the first 18 months of Visteon's operations in Timisoara?
A. Visteon’s technology center in Timisoara was established with great excitement, enthusiasm and in a very short space of time. To make such an ambitious project successful within this tight timeframe – especially entering a new market – the key is having the right people on board.
Our team in Timisoara has very quickly become an integral part of our software talent base and complements the existing engineering teams in Europe with its experience, knowledge, continuous drive for innovation and excellence in execution. Now we have a solid foundation in Romania, we are looking ahead to upgrading our center and capabilities into a hub of innovation, closer interaction with customers and continued growth.
Q. With such a competitive professional space, how is Visteon performing in attracting the right expertise to support sustained success in Romania?
A. Healthy competition in business is good and this is one the main reasons that Visteon chose Timisoara as the location for its engineering center in Romania. Visteon’s culture fosters innovative thinking and is always open to the different ideas of its employees.
Automotive electronics is in a phase of transformation and heightened sophistication – our products are becoming more and more complex, combining different technologies and delivering against challenging time-to-market.
Since the center’s foundation we have prudently hired engineers with a focus on demonstrable talent, the long-term prospective for their development and the enthusiasm they show to be part of a dynamic technology environment. This is our recipe for success, and I think we are on the right track to see the fruition and benefits of our mindset, despite a crowded auto market.
Q. What major attributes has Visteon's talent base in Timisoara brought to the organization, both regionally and globally?
A. The strategic benefit of having Visteon located in Timisoara is to attract the plethora of local experienced professionals working in the automotive space. There are many auto players located in the city, so the scope for talent is considerable – most of the Visteon colleagues based at our technology center have previous automotive and OEM-specific experience. The universities in Timisoara also provide a great pool of talented young professionals who, by joining Visteon, will help shape the future when it comes to our plans for engineering development.
We have managed to create a very motivated, talented and experienced team which can contribute to the global growth of Visteon by developing state-of-the-art automotive solutions for our OEM customers.
Regarding the regional benefit, I think we are very well positioned for our European customers and we can address issues and support in real time, as our location and time zone offers us the possibility to interact with them easily and efficiently.
Q. What are the future plans for development in terms of local teams, functions and technical capabilities at Timisoara?
A. Timisoara needs to continue its growth in terms of experience but also in terms of engineering capabilities. We have already demonstrated our skills and commitment towards software deliveries with both quality and required content. Now, we need to diversify our product involvement and also take new responsibilities and fulfil more project roles in order to sustain Visteon’s global business growth.
In terms of products being developed in Timisoara, we see the possibility and willingness of the local team to take on and development new solutions. Being able to deliver an end-to-end project from our center is a major goal for the future and for this we need to take responsibility for all related engineering roles.
Q. What kind of activities can a member of your team at the Timisoara technology center expect to get involved with on a daily basis?
A. A job as a software engineer at Timisoara’s technology center is generally diverse and pretty challenging. We are involved in instrument cluster projects for different OEM partners, and daily activities for our teams cover all aspects of software development, such as requirements analysis and clarifications, design, coding, automation, reviews, metrics checks, test definition and run, integration, performance verification and software delivery to different entities. Employees are usually involved in all of these activities, with two main areas of expertise – development and integration. Therefore, each of us has the opportunity to develop and grow professionally as part of an environment full of enthusiastic and experienced colleagues.
We continuously encourage a proactive working attitude, so team members are free to get involved in new and exciting areas, even if it is a space they have no experience of. We are supportive and adapt our planning to primarily meet employee satisfaction while at the same time delivering to reach our project milestones.
Q. Can you tell us a bit more about the latest technology solutions the team in Romania is contributing towards?
A. Visteon’s Timisoara team contributes many interesting solutions for a number of different customer projects. We are challenged daily to develop Autosar solutions, common software for several vehicle models, software safety concepts, graphical solutions with increased performances and even over-the-air software reflash technology. We usually deal with off-the-shelf solutions which are then integrated into automotive eco-systems, but we are also developing internal, proprietary concepts to become more competitive.
One of the challenges for 2021 will be to improve graphical performances by introducing a proprietary HMI framework solution. In parallel, we will be keeping our current graphical system, having the opportunity to choose the preferred option between the two at build time – for Visteon and our customers.
Q. What are some of the success stories local employees have enjoyed in contributing to cockpit electronics programs with major automakers?
A. In the short time since Visteon’s technology center opened in Timisoara, the driver information platform team has been able to successfully handle and deliver a number of cluster and display programs. I am very happy with the performance of our platform team here – a motivated group that functions very well as a collective, collaborating and sharing knowledge internally and with other teams, all the while providing a solid foundation to effectively deal with challenges encountered on a daily basis.
Q. What excites you about the future of working for Visteon in this space?
A. It is clear that a company’s positive culture, growth and development help to drive industry achievements and successful platforms. Timisoara has the potential as a base to provide outstanding talent for Visteon – and this represents a great opportunity for us. Through the skills and industry knowledge of our employees we have the chance to contribute exceptional results to Visteon’s worldwide platform team.
Q. What is Visteon doing to create the optimal environment for its employees in Timisoara?
A. Our focus is to create an environment that brings out the best in all of us, professionally and personally. We constantly look for interesting work and projects that can challenge and fuel the learning process.
One of the things our employees highly appreciate is the connection and support they have found in the wider team – be it technical support, a friendly colleague, a mentor or just the opportunity to share information. We want to keep this spirit as we grow; I believe having this bond between team members makes us strong and capable to take on complex challenges.
This year has posed some significant challenges in getting physically together and having live events – as we did last year during our Open Day events, Christmas party and other gatherings, but looking forward to 2021 we will continue to stay connected and constantly evaluate and explore the opportunity for new ways to bring in a personal touch to our shared work life.
Q. How does Visteon stand out as an employer in Romania?
A. At Visteon, we take pride in our key strength – our passion for technology and the opportunity to constantly learn and contribute; the fact that in our work we are always connected to our global community of amazing professionals and our focus to build an organization with an inclusive and supportive culture.
Visteon is a core technology company with a high focus on technology leadership and I believe that is one of the key elements that makes Visteon Romania a great place to work, if you are passionate about making an impact in the future of the digital cockpit. We have a strong, competent team and this provides an excellent learning environment for both entry-level and experienced professionals.
Romania is one of the youngest tech centers on Visteon’s map and this brings both excitement and responsibility. We get to shape the future and support to create and develop a strong facility – and this is an opportunity that I believe is very valuable in any professional’s career.
We value initiative and our ideas for improvement on a local level are already being rewarded as they become projects that we can share with the global Visteon community.
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