Since summer 2018, the Ambassadors have embodied the spirit of change in the TRATON GROUP and thus communicated a clear message: becoming a Global Champion means that all brands must stand together as one.

Text: Laurin Paschek

Curiosity, accountability, and the courage to step outside your comfort zone: an Ambassador community has established itself within the TRATON GROUP and is currently pursuing its goal of driving the cultural transformation within the Company. Be it Munich, Södertälje, or São Paulo: the Ambassadors can be found throughout the world at the brands’ various locations, where they work as multipliers of a new, cross-brand collaboration, while transforming the notion of a joint group into reality. “The TRATON GROUP is the embodiment of its brands—and this also works the other way around,” says CEO Andreas Renschler. “We learn from one another and initiate joint changes together to create added value for the Company and, ultimately, our customers.” The Ambassadors’ responsibilities include, among other things, hosting Spirit Labs aimed at advancing and promoting the transformation from the inside: through compact events organized by the Ambassadors themselves at their respective sites. As an open format, the workshops not only serve as an opportunity to communicate and network, they also foster the overall understanding of Group-wide topics. Four Ambassadors offer insights into their motivation and goals.

Johan Bodin sees his job as the most exciting, multifaceted, and challenging position that he can currently imagine. And you believe him right away when he says that—after all, he works on the future of the transportation world every day as assistant to COO Christian Levin. “We are facing a technological leap,” says Bodin. “To remain competitive, we must develop new competencies and approaches to work.” He also uses his network and his wealth of knowledge in his role as an Ambassador. “I want to share my knowledge,” he explains. “The TRATON GROUP is growing together and we are on an exciting journey, but this can also be confusing for colleagues at the individual brands, since so much is changing.” Johan Bodin fulfills his role as an Ambassador in two different ways: on the one hand, he promotes the overall understanding when it comes to the advantages of cross-brand collaboration. On the other, he intends to transcend existing, indiscernible divides between the brands, thus creating new connections and platforms for collaboration. For the time being, Bodin is to a large extent focusing on the soft criteria of collaboration—for example, building bridges and developing joint approaches to work.

Johan Bodin
Isabelle Heger

In the Marketing department of MAN Truck & Bus in Munich, Isabelle Heger’s work requires her to be constantly up-to-date, since she is responsible for organizing the live communication. She plans and oversees industry events, such as the renowned Busworld exhibition and other trade fairs. “When it comes to event management, no two days are ever the same,” says Heger. “And that is exactly what I love about my job.” At the same time, she is well aware that you can only successfully organize large events by working together as a team, and it is this insight that she wishes to pass on as an Ambassador. She explains, “As an Ambassador, you can absolutely be proud of your own brand and your own department. But I am convinced that we have to adjust our mindset by taking a comprehensive approach. This is the only way we can achieve our goal of ensuring the TRATON GROUP becomes a Global Champion.” Embodying this mindset as Ambassadors is particularly important, because the TRATON GROUP is such a young company. Heger was already able to use her organizational talent: for example at a Spirit Lab in Munich, where 30 colleagues had the opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with the process of growing, together with Chief Human Resources Officer Carsten Intra.

Mandy Müller is well versed in pioneering feats: she has been setting up a new division within Scania’s Procurement department since the beginning of 2019. “One of the tasks we face is to ensure sufficient capacities with suppliers,” explains Müller. “This means we have to identify risks and develop measures to mitigate these risks in the future.” As an Ambassador, she is able to incorporate a cross-brand approach: “Before I started at Scania, I worked at MAN for many years.” She intends to use her position as an Ambassador to advance the TRATON spirit throughout the entire Group. “The Ambassador network provides us with a great opportunity to get to know each other even better and to discuss topics such as opportunities and risks,” says Mandy Müller. “For many employees, the TRATON GROUP remains hard to grasp, because in many cases, it is still far removed from the brands’ day-to-day work.” By the same token, Müller explains that another important aspect of the Ambassadors’ work is to communicate people’s everyday questions to the TRATON GROUP’s management in an even more effective manner.

Mandy Müller
Danielle Riton

Having the ability to maintain an outside perspective while also keeping an eye on what is happening internally is a vital part of Danielle Ritton’s job. As a Public Relations and Press Officer, she not only works with external media representatives to promote the brand image of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, she also takes care of the internal communication. Thus, she is optimally prepared to act as an Ambassador for the TRATON GROUP. “Each individual employee can contribute to leading the TRATON GROUP into a positive future,” emphasizes Danielle Ritton. “I find working toward this goal as an Ambassador quite fascinating, particularly because this role enables me to do so across all brands.” In this context, she highlights the importance of the solid market positioning that the individual brands have already achieved. Yet Ritton points out, “This is not enough if we want to rank first when it comes to the future of transportation.” With her first Spirit Lab and working together with all Brazilian Ambassadors, she was already able to convince around 50 colleagues from three brands that they should commit to this new spirit. However, as a communications professional, Ritton also shifts her attention outward: “In addition, we are conducting external conversations with the public and our partners to provide them with a better understanding of the TRATON GROUP’s new identity.”