As of November 1st, Dr. Robert Plank is the new managing director of the segment Automotive Test Systems (ATS) at HORIBA Europe GmbH. In his new role, he will further advance the worldwide leading supplier of emission measuring systems, continuing a successful first half year 2017, which was mainly achieved in the Automotive Test Systems segment.
“The automotive industry has started to invest in e-mobility and connected autonomous vehicles intensively. HORIBA Europe is expected to play a key role in pursuing this market trend in Europe,” comments Hiroshi Nakamura, President of HORIBA Europe GmbH. “Therefore, we decided to strengthen the management at HORIBA Europe GmbH. I am convinced that Dr. Robert Plank can also create additional value on top of our equipment business both through his intensive contacts in the automotive industry and a closer collaboration with HORIBA MIRA.”
Dr. Robert Plank is responsible for the European business of the Group's automotive division and coordinates the business expansion in the field of mechatronics on a global scale. “My goal is to establish HORIBA Europe internationally in order to meet the changing needs of our customers even better and be prepared for the future. With my responsibility for delivery and factory organization, I will drive the strategic approach for the benefit of our customers,” states Plank.
More than 20 years of experience in the automotive sector
Plank studied Production Engineering at the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and earned his PhD in Technical Mechanics. Since 1997, he had been a testing expert and deputy manager durability for chassis components at AUDI AG. In 2000, he moved to INA Schaeffler KG as head of corporate testing bearings. In 2004, Dr. Plank took responsibility for global development of FAG’s business unit wheel module and was substantially participated in the integration of the FAG Automotive into the Schaeffler Group. In 2007, he returned to the corporate headquarters and was significantly involved in the organization of the competence center roller bearings as well as the extension of the research activities of the Schaeffler Group.
In 2009, Dr. Plank was promoted as Vice President Corporate Engineering being globally in charge for all engineering services and engineering methods within the SCHAEFFLER Group. In this position, he drove the expansion and optimization of the global developer network and strategic partnerships.
In October 2013, Dr. Plank was appointed as chairman of the board of directors of TÜV NORD Mobilität GmbH & Co. KG in Hanover. Three years later, Plank was promoted as chairman of the business unit automotive and with that he became member of the new founded TÜV NORD GROUP executive committee. While expanding the international business, he focused on new technologies, particularly digitalization and automation, and their impact on automotive engineering and certification.
Dr. Plank is a member of various national and international boards as well as scientific advisory committees. As part of the International Board of Advisors (IBOA), he advises the Faculty of Vehicle Systems and Production at the Technical University of Cologne and furthermore supports the Scientific Society for Product Development (WiGeP).