Daniel Schulze actually wanted to settle down in Munich. But then he moved to Sweden for his job at TRATON. He liked it there so much that he decided to stay. 44-year-old Schulze joined Scania, TRATON’s Swedish subsidiary, in June 2021 and is responsible for the company’s overall electrification strategy. Where is the e-mobility journey heading? Daniel Schulze’s job is to find the answers to this question.
Consulting has always come naturally to Daniel Schulze. Originally from Berlin, he managed to gain experience in corporate consulting when he was a student — initially working in water and wastewater. He remembers that he learned a lot during this time, “but automobiles have always held a special place in my heart.” After this, Schulze moved to the automotive industry to work as a consultant and became a jet-setter: “I would end up somewhere new every two weeks.” One of his assignments took him to Japan. “I spent a year and a half living and working in Tokyo,” Schulze explains, remembering this time with a smile. “It was an unbelievable cultural experience.” He was especially impressed with the Japanese quest for perfection. And that he could learn something new every single day: “Just when I thought that I finally understood the Japanese, they would go and do something completely unexpected.”
2011 saw Schulze join MAN and move first to Nuremberg and then to Munich. Constant travel and moving around had taken a lot out of him. “This is why I wanted to settle down in Munich together with my wife.” His first job was Head of Project Management at the Competence Center E-Mobility, a new cross-functional area responsible for electrification that MAN had set up in 2011. After an internal transfer at the end of 2013, he became a Program Manager Bus Coach. For Schulze, one of the highlights during this time was being there every step of the way as a vehicle moves through development and production to real-life operation: “There is a certain pride you feel when you see a bus you helped design drive on the Autobahn and show it to your daughter.” After five years in Bavaria, Schulze got the moving bug again: he joined TRATON in 2016 and headed north to Sweden with his wife.
Schulze spent five years working as Head of Complete Vehicle Strategic Product Planning for the TRATON GROUP in Södertälje. “We really love it here in Sweden,” he says. “Our daughter was born here three years ago, Sweden has become our home.” When the opportunity came up in June 2021 to transfer to Scania, Schulze grabbed it with both hands. At Scania, Schulze manages an international team of seven people, “a real mix of characters that is still a work in progress.” His job: making sure that Scania has a clear e-mobility strategy. An international mix of people is also important to him in his new job, as is questioning his own preconceptions. This is something he learned on his many travels: “The world looks different wherever you go. This is why it is essential to develop a good understanding of the differences and to be able to build bridges to other countries when working with the people there.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced this self-confessed workaholic to slow down. “This hard stop helped me to reflect on what is important to me.” Schulze has learned to appreciate the benefits of a work-life balance. On his days off in the summer, he likes to take his wife and daughter out on his small motorboat to explore Sweden by water. Just drifting along, finding a small bay to drop anchor in the evening — “that is freedom,” Schulze says with a smile. Right now, he does not feel the urge to go on vacation somewhere far away. “I am still traumatized from having to constantly pack my suitcase when I was a consultant,” he says with a wink. This is why his family’s favorite thing to do right now is explore their new Scandinavian home. He rarely tends to fly at the moment. “That is mainly due to the pandemic though,” Schulze explains. With no travel at all, Schulze would be missing something.