The customer champion
The thing Maximilian Muggenhamer is really talented at? Listening to others. To offer the perfect steering system to every client, the vehicle technician visits OEMs in every corner of the world.
One thing Maximilian Muggenhamer needs to be able to do really well is listen. As head of Road Testing at thyssenkrupp, the job of the 33-year-old vehicle engineer is to understand his customers and their needs.
“As a supplier of electric steering systems we create the right steering and drive feel for each model. It involves an intensive development process with our customers until finally driving and steering feel the way they are supposed to feel,” says Muggenhamer. Although based at thyssenkrupp’s Eschen site in Liechtenstein, he gets about a lot: “Increasingly we are carrying out tests with our customers all over the world – from winter tests in Sweden to hot climate testing in Arizona.” This close cooperation between customer and developer from the earliest stages pays off, because a joint development process can be tailored exactly to provide the greatest customer benefit. Or as Muggenhamer puts it: “For our customers we are both advisor and sparring partner.”
As a chassis and steering specialist, thyssenkrupp creates products that are deeply integrated in the overall car system. Long gone are the days when engineers like Muggenhamer were only involved in developing components. Important component suppliers like thyssenkrupp also need to optimize the interplay of software and hardware in the vehicle, for example to produce the right steering feel. “Intelligent” steering systems are also an important prerequisite for driver assistance systems such as park assist, lane assist and distance warning systems.
With their work Muggenhamer and his colleagues are paving the way for the mobility of the future: thyssenkrupp’s steer-by-wire system is an important prerequisite for autonomous driving.