Automotive expert Ralf Kalmbach joins Bain from rival A.T. Kearney

29 September 2017 2 min. read
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As Germany's automotive industry faces challenges from megatrends and a climate increasingly in need of electrification, Bain & Company has picked up automotive industry expert Ralf Kalmbach. He joins the firm as Partner and co-head of Bain's Automotive practice – a role he previously held at A.T. Kearney and Roland Berger.

The automotive industry is in a period of change, as several mega-trends, including autonomous vehicles, electrification, mobility and connected vehicles, usher in potentially disruptive changes. The industry itself is already under pressure, as the effects of noxious exhausts from diesel is increasingly seen as damaging to human well-being, while regulatory efforts and wider economic and social changes related to climate change – push through wider changes in the industry.

As the firm vies to strengthen its automotive service in response to these changes, Bain & Company has hired senior automotive expert Ralf Kalmbach. Joining the firm from A.T. Kearney where he was a Partner and global leader of the firm’s Automotive Practice, Kalmbach has also previously worked at Roland Berger, where he was the head of the global Automotive Competence Centre and an executive committee member. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Mercer in various automotive practice related roles, including Vice President and Managing Director. Kalmbach, who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Karlsruhe, started his career as a planning engineer with Daimler. 

Ralf Kalmbach joins Bain & Company

In Kalmbach's new Munich-based role as co-head of the Automotive Practice, he is tasked with using innovative potential to support the firm’s German clients that face potential disruption from new technologies, more stringent regulations, and a transforming global economy. He joins Bain & Company Partner and co-head Klaus Stricker, who has been with the consulting firm for the past 18 years, as head of the global Automotive Competence Center and a member of the firm’s executive committee.

Commenting on the new role, Kalmbach, said, "Going forward, it will be crucial for carmakers to convince customers on the basis of new drive technologies, autonomous and partially-autonomous driving systems and digital innovation. The major automobile companies must win back their former leadership in innovation amid these new market conditions. Acquisitions of technology specialists can also serve to strengthen their own position."

Walter Sinn, head of Bain Germany, said, "Ralf Kalmbach is one of the leading experts in the automotive industry and is a huge gain for Bain. His exceptional sector experience will be a substantial advantage as we look to support our clients in successfully and securely navigating the disruption currently headed our way."