Everything You Need to Know About Travis Kalanick

When it comes to the auto industry, influence is paramount. Who are the key players? Who’s opening new doors for a market ripe for advancement in everything from transportation to design? Aside from certain scandals and legal problems involving disability rights, Uber CEO Travis Cordell Kalanick just might be at the forefront of an empire where taxi-cabs die off and numerous people can earn money just for driving around! What a novel idea….

A Breakdown on Who Travis Kalanick Is

We did mention certain scandals — not that it tarnished the man who is Travis Kalanick muchTravis Kalanick at all, given this is an American entrepreneur sitting at the Forbes list at 290 of the 400 richest Americans of 2014 (estimated net worth of $5.3 billion). However, he had his fair share of trouble given Scour, his peer-to-peer file-sharing service, faced a major lawsuit with the Motion Picture Association of America and a couple other organizations due to copyright infringement. Travis Kalanick, though, was a smart cookie and had Scour filing for bankruptcy to protect assets, saving the man from an utter downfall.

Enter: Red Swoosh, another file-sharing service that was bought out by Akamai Technologies back in 2007 for a nice sizable amount — $19MM. This takes us to the current revolution Travis Kalanick has founded, enterprising and innovative in the idea that takes the transportation — and automotive — industries into a whole new level.

Enter: Uber. We’re pretty sure everyone’s heard about this mobile app and service, making waves all over the U.S. and allowing just about anyone to access qualified drivers utilizing their own vehicles to basically pick up ‘strangers’ (literally) and take them anywhere they want to go. Think of it as a supremely flexible taxi-cab type service, but expanded to achieve national dominance outside of any region. The idea is, indeed, astonishing.

As You Might Already Know, Though, Travis Kalanick Catches Some Flack

Did we mention the current legal proceeding about disability rights for some riders who require everything from a guide dog to a wheelchair? Yeah. However, Travis Kalanick’s been on the up-and-up and making the appropriate policies to ensure he’s under legal compliance with the code of the legal act in question. Kudos to you, Mr. Travis Kalanick.

It’s pretty clear, though…. Whatever your opinion of Uber is. This is a man capable of morphing the landscape into something without bounds. It’s no wonder he’s climbed high as an influence of the automotive industry. Better watch out for him.


Everything You Need to Know About Harald Krüger

With a sideways colon over the “u,” of course, in his name. Just sayin’. Mr. Harald Krüger gets well known not just for the unique spelling of “Harald” or “Krüger,” but because he’s the CEO of the auto group many loved for generations: BMW. How so? He’s the man responsible for pushing trends and innovations for German auto groups all over. Arguably one of the many influences in today’s auto industry.

Why Harald Krüger Could Be Changing the Game for Those High-Performance Cars in the Auto Industryharald kruger

Yes, it’s true: high-performance cars can be pricey. Harald Krüger, though, tries to push more of the affordability, which may change an entire automotive landscape like you wouldn’t believe. He’s been pushing crazy auto ideas like the i8 and the i3 electric with the optional gas range extender as well as something totally outrageous in the X6M that at first glance when announced seemed so incredibly ludicrous that it would never fly.

Guess what: that X6M is now being aped. The Gran Coupes are being imitated. It’s as if Mr. Harald Krüger has the ability to pied pipe his way through the crowd and have the automotive rats follow suit like rodent zombies. The tune he plays will be the anthem of the automotive industry. Watch.

I mean, the man’s even pushing for carbon fiber on “ordinary cars”! This idea seems to be flying just fine for vehicles like the i3 at an affordable price. So, yes, even the middle-class person looking for auto selection services can get a true-blue sports car from BMW without breaking the bank.

You Can Bet This Is a Man With Influence in the Auto Industry

We just might be seeing a merging of classes in the automotive industry where affordability, convenience and efficiency might apply to just about any and every vehicle out there. That’s great for consumers. We shall say if it’s also good for manufacturers out there. All we can say is we love those BMW’s, “Harold” (we mean “Harald”).

Everything You Need to Know About Johan de Nysschen

When it comes to global and monumental careers, nobody measures up to the likes of Johan de Nysschen. Head-hunted, virtually. A game-changer, trendsetter, a standard-bearer. There’s a reason why the man’s executive bio is so extensive within the auto industry as it is and why he remains as one of many auto influences who not only propelled companies but also cross-functionalized operations between two completely different manufacturers: Infiniti Global Limited, and most recently, General Motors. Now that’s an accomplishment.

A Complete Rundown on Johan de NysschenJohan de Nysschen

This was a man serving as President of Infiniti Global Limited in 2012, a man representing global business operations for the brand over in Hong Kong, but remarkably enough, made a truly alarming switch: he ended his tenure there and jumped clear across the world to become the President of Cadillac and VP of General Motors in 2014, taking with him all the expertise he has for everything automotive.

Let’s just say Cadillac and GM have something going here, what with all the hoopla of the lost revenue and struggles of the American brands of automaking in danger of going down the tubes. Mr. Johan de Nysschen has his work cut out for him, but if anyone can do it, it’s him.

It’s All About Desire — and Johan de Nysschen Has It

Want to know more about why Cadillac and GM may be in very good hands? This is a man who served in the plastics and automotive components industry from 1981 to 1990, served as general manager for Audi South Africa in 1993 to 1999, and then became President of Audi of America, Inc. as well as Volkswagen Group of America in 2004. Pretty impressive resume, don’t you think?

He’s also an avid auto, motorcycle, and wine enthusiast. Figures. As if he has time to focus on ‘hobbies’ these days….

Everything You Need to Know About Mary Barra

Aside from the fact that Mrs. Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker — a feat all in its own and worthy of being on a list of auto influences for 2015 — you’ve got a professional here who’s so public that we’d be skeptical to find just about anyone who might not have heard of her name in Michigan. She’s the CEO of General Motors, basically — and her aggressive task is to get GM back on the board for the auto industry in terms of competition and quality. She’s doing a pretty good job, actually.

A Breakdown of Mary Barra From the Very BeginningMary Barra

She didn’t just land in that role, though, by randomness, replacing the former CEO back in 2014, and certainly didn’t just blindly accept a featyre with Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Mary Barra did start off small, as many hopeful professionals do, at the age of 18, working for GM as a co-op student in 1980 in quite a few engineering and administrative positions. Her work ethic led her to a management role at the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant, and after becoming VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering in 2008, it was pretty clear that she was destined for even greater accolades.

In 2009, Mary Barra was promoted to VP of Global Human Resources, holding that for two years. She then was named Executive VP of Global Product Development after that. You seeing a trend here? Mary Barra has had her hand dipped in just about every aspect of GM from start to finish, earning her a place in the influences of the auto industry for 2015 without even a second glance.

Design, efficiency, operations, manpower, technology, logistics — you name it. She’s had her hand in it. Needless to say, she became full-on CEO of the entire corporation, and the rest is history as she helmed full public protocol and damage control for an issuance of 84 safety recalls, which included 30MM vehicles. She even presided over the U.S. Senate to testify about such recalls and deaths due to the faulty ignition switch on said automobiles. And she did it all with poise, candor, and professionalism. Without even a flinch.

That Is What We Call a Trendsetter in the Auto Industry

There’s a reason why even Forbes listed her as one of the world’s most powerful women — three times. She, in fact, rose from the 35th spot to the seventh spot in 2013. 2014 was a hallmark year for her with Forbes, and we can only speculate where she’s going to be in terms of global power and influence in the auto selection market for 2015. She’s accomplished all of this because of one thing: she’s not afraid to go public and represent her company with gusto. That takes some major spine in the chassis, we think!

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