Johan Smeyers (CEO of Arkite) has been elected by the Automotive Technology Club's Steering Committee as its new president, succeeding Gert-Jan Vogelaar of Punch Powertrain, who was president of the Club since its inception at the end of 2016.

We asked Johan for his reaction: "As an active member of the Agoria Automotive Technology Club I have  seen first-hand the great work that Ward and Gert-Jan have accomplished over the past years. I am therefore proud to be able to take over the torch from Gert-Jan in order to put our Automotive member companies further on the international map."

Ward Vleegen, Club Manager of the Automotive Technology Club: "I am very happy with Johan as the new president.  For me, in this role, he is primarily a "sparring partner:" he provides constructive feedback and advice, is always there for us, and is a true believer in the Club!"

The Club president has several duties:

  • Chairing the steering committee and preparing the agenda for the meetings together with the Club Manager
  • Representing the Automotive Technology Club at high-level events at home and abroad, as and where possible
  • Advising and guiding the Technology Club Manager and the Steering Committee in developing the Club's strategy and vision

Opening doors to the global automotive industry

The core activity of the Automotive Technology Club is to facilitate introductions to the global automotive industry.  To this end, it has compiled an Automotive Innovation E-book, which is distributed to carefully selected contacts at automakers and Tier-1 suppliers.

In addition to distributing the Innovation E-Book, the Club organizes on-site and online "Tech Days," where the managers and engineers of carmakers and suppliers can learn about the innovations of Club members.

"The automotive industry is highly globalized and super-competitive.  Accordingly, with our club, we first defined 4 areas in which the Belgian automotive suppliers really excel: electrification, user experience, ADAS and smart production. This focused approach has been the key to our success in establishing high-level contacts with the global automotive industry, and in surprising them with innovations from Belgian soil."