I’ve sat through quite a few of these ‘round tables’, when about a dozen journalists cram around a conference table, fire questions at the boss and scribble down the answers.
Hopefully the answers come back in some sort of printable form and most of us hacks are well-practised in turning these events into usable words for our readers, although they can be hugely frustrating if the exec isn’t in a co-operative mood.
Neumann definitely doesn’t fall into this category. In fact I’d go as far to say he’s one of the two most impressive GM bosses I’ve ever seen in action in interviews.
Given that English is not his first language, the former-VW exec has a fine grasp of the nuances of the English language and is ready to share a joke. But most importantly Neumann comes across as an impressive leader of a company with a clear strategy, a financial recovery plan and a willingness to communicate.
Being an engineer and one-time head of VW’s electronics R&D, Neumann undoubtedly understands the new wave of connectivity and importance of electrical systems architecture that is opening up as a new front in the global car industry.