Features & Interviews

Five minutes with… Chris Newitt, Managing Director, Scania UK

03 November 2022 #Features & Interviews

How does it feel to be the new MD of Scania UK?

It’s exciting to be here. I’ve met some fantastic people, who are hugely passionate about the Scania brand and the product.

It’s been a whirlwind of activities, with people introducing themselves and me getting to know the business.

What really excites you about joining Scania UK?

Being the Managing Director and working for some of the great brands in the automotive industry – Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Land Rover, and now Scania, is a real privilege.

These brands have been around for 100 years, and they will be around for another 100 years. If we all embrace the simple philosophy – the brand will outlast us. We are temporary guardians that need to serve this great brand well.

I’ve been given this tremendous privilege at a time when the industry is changing. We’ve had, give or take, 100 years of the internal combustion engine, and over the next 15 to 20 years we will be in a different world and different environment.

This journey will come with its own challenges, opportunities, changes and developments, including what it means for our brand, our people and our lifestyles. I couldn’t have joined at a more exciting time.

Throughout your career who has inspired you and why?

Throughout my business career, I have been very lucky that I have had a great set of bosses. They have supported me and have given me the freedom to develop and grow. I learned different things from all of them, and I am reluctant to name any one of them, because I think it would be unfair on the others by possibly forgetting a name.

Whether it was my managers at Volkswagen Group – many of them gave me promotions and helped me develop my career, or those who helped me continue that at Jaguar Land Rover, where I was introduced to the global business world – all of them helped to make me what I am today.

How can their inspiration help you in your new role?

Some of them were brilliant in their thinking and their clarity. Some of them were brilliant in their understanding of people. Some of them were massively supportive in terms of team dynamics and getting people to learn together.

I’ve tried throughout my career to pick the best from them. It could be their energy, a way of thinking, a turn of phrase, a perspective on life or business and, let’s be honest, very occasionally there has probably been the odd time where I’ve learnt what not to do as well. No one is perfect: that’s what makes great leaders human.

I’m not one who idolises Steve Jobs or Richard Branson from afar. For me, very simplistically, people’s happiness at work and therefore their ability to achieve is largely determined by their boss and their boss’s boss.

A great boss can turn an average job description into a fantastic experience. I try to learn from all my great bosses and pick the best bits for the right set of circumstances.

Chris Newitt, Managing Director, Scania UK

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