Harmonizing the potential of the four TRATON brands and empowering them to achieve more together — that’s Matthias Rehfeld’s job as a strategy manager at Scania in Sweden. Taking this job meant moving to a different country, which has not been without its perks for this fan of the outdoors and amateur fisherman.

Text: Lisa Schwarz

At the beginning of 2022, Matthias Rehfeld’s career took him up north: he and his wife moved to Stockholm so that he could join Scania as a strategic project manager. The 34-year-old had previously worked for the TRATON GROUP in Munich for seven years. He started his career as a trainee in Development at MAN before spending two years working in Product Management. He then joined the TRATON GROUP, where he worked for three years, most recently as an Executive Board spokesman. His entire career to date has been shaped by one key question: how can Scania, MAN, Navistar, and Volkswagen Truck & Bus, the four brands of the TRATON GROUP, work closer together when it comes to developing technologies and products? Moving to Sweden and joining Scania has meant that Rehfeld can now implement the very strategy he had previously helped create — for a common industrial setup. He describes this experience as “a true highlight.”

Strategy manager

Strategy and transformation — these are the focal points of the work Rehfeld and his team do at Scania. As well as the process of transformation within the company, this also includes creating a TRATON Industrial Operations setup, in other words a model for collaboration between the four brands, together with the colleagues responsible in the individual functions. Strategy plays a vital role in this process: the first step towards a successful transformation is finding the right way to go about it. But why is this transformation even necessary in the first place? The TRATON GROUP intends to use its new strategy to grow and develop further and to future-proof itself for new technologies like e-mobility or autonomous driving. This requires a lot of resources: each of the four companies brings its own competencies to the table, so it makes sense to find a smart way to bundle those resources together. “We have to find a way to organize our development that allows us to leverage the competencies and resources we have worldwide as effectively as possible,” says Rehfeld.

Team spirit booster

“TRATON is an exciting company: it’s a Group made up of several brands, all of which have their own way of doing things,” he explains. This makes it a place where different cultures, working environments, and perspectives meet. All the more important to find common ground to be able to work together. “We have to find a way to get along and figure out what principles and values we have in common. Only then will our employees feel part of a team or identify with a topic,” he continues. It all comes down to one thing: communication. “One thing we are doing is creating platforms and channels for people to connect and share their experiences,” says the strategy manager. “Another important aspect is communicating our transformation journey towards a common setup in a way that gets all employees worldwide on board.”

Amateur fisherman

When he’s not working, Rehfeld loves nothing more than being in nature. “You could say I’m an outdoor junkie,” he laughs. Biking, camping, fishing, golfing: with so much on offer in Sweden, he is truly spoilt for choice! There are a lot of ways in which life there is different to Germany. Take the weather, for example: “My wife and I recently traveled around in our camper van, but it was chilly and rainy — typical Nordic weather,” he says. Another thing that takes some getting used to: fewer mountains. At the same time, there are more lakes. Rehfeld explains that a boat comes in handy since there are parts of the Stockholm Archipelago you can only reach by water. “I caught a nice pike perch on my last trip there, which we cooked and ate later that evening — it was truly spectacular.” An experience unique to this part of the world — and something he would have missed out on if he had stayed in Germany.

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