#roadtripsweden: Everyday Legends – Road to Sweden

Automotive-sector | Engineering | mobility of the future | People at thyssenkrupp | We love and live cars – from development to endurance testing. That is why we are off to face a very special challenge: we test our own engineering skills on a road trip. Under extreme conditions. The destination? Arvidsjaur, North Sweden – 4.400 kilometers of asphalt, rain, cold and ice. At the steering wheel? Our employees, who master all challenges on the way together as a team.

Rustic accommodations, cold temperatures and action-packed days. For us, these are the prerequisites for an unforgettable road trip with thyssenkrupp Bilstein, one of the leading suppliers and development partners for the global automotive industry.

Within the scope of the “Bilstein Legends“, our employees, together with well-known automotive professionals such as Darren Hardesty or the RB Drift Brothers, will face this very special challenge. During the trip, our automotive products will have to withstand the ultimate endurance test on Swedish ice.

Elias Hountondji and Joe Hountondji are the current vice and European champions in the individual classification and European champions in the team classification for drifting. Both of the brothers' cars are equipped with BILSTEIN suspensions. As
Elias Hountondji and Joe Hountondji are the current vice and European champions in the individual classification and European champions in the team classification for drifting. Both of the brothers' cars are equipped with BILSTEIN suspensions. As "BILSTEIN Legends" they regularly test our products under the toughest conditions.
Anton Marklund is a Swedish racing driver who won the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2017. The 25-year-old is regarded as one of the world's greatest rallycross talents. He tests our BILSTEIN dampers under extreme conditions.
Anton Marklund is a Swedish racing driver who won the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2017. The 25-year-old is regarded as one of the world's greatest rallycross talents. He tests our BILSTEIN dampers under extreme conditions.

From the desk to the steering wheel

Bilstein employees from all over Germany were able to apply for this very special adventure. 18 of them made it – ranging from trainees to managers. Together, the team has to master a variety of challenges on its way to Sweden.

4.400 kilometers from Bochum to Arvidsjaur

The adventure started on March 17 in Bochum. Now, an entire crew is on their way to northern Sweden, driving 2.200 kilometers per track. During the three stages of the journey, our employees have to solve a wide variety of tasks. So much can be revealed: It will be icy, cold and slippery. In Sweden, ice tracks, frozen lakes and many other tasks will be waiting for our team. Our 18 colleagues will put our shock absorbers, camshafts and steering systems through a rigorous test in sub-zero temperatures. They will test our products at the same place, where the major automobile manufacturers put their vehicles to the test.

Between our headquarters in Essen and our destination, northern Sweden's Arvidsjaur, lie more than 2,000 kilometers. A real test for every single of our cars.
Between our headquarters in Essen and our destination, northern Sweden's Arvidsjaur, lie more than 2,000 kilometers. A real test for every single of our cars.

“We will prove ourselves as a team and we will test our products in extreme situations. But above all, we will have a lot of fun”, states Kai Heller, Head of Global Content Management at thyssenkrupp Bilstein. “Of course, the driving skills of each of our employees will be challenged, but we can only master the road trip as a team. Accompanied by the Red Bull Driftbrothers Jow & Eli and Anton Marklund we have professional drivers at our site who will give us some useful tips”, he adds.

A unique opportunity to our employees but also the entire automotive business of thyssenkrupp. “We have a unique opportunity here. Together with all business units of thyssenkrupp Automotive Business, we have been able to demonstrate our competence, our expertise and our passion for mobility. Doing this through a road trip describes our daily actions and thinking. We are open for new ways and try to achieve them together. A team full of automotive passion, which is one of the reasons why we chose to make this road trip,” concludes Kai Heller.

Official kick-off in “Q3”, our thyssenkrupp pub

The official kick-off for the road trip took place on February 18in the quarter in Essen. For the first time, all participants met each other and used the occasion to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere in our pub in Essen. At the same time, they were also able to take a first exclusive look at the cars. Of course, our CEO Guido Kerkhoff as an avowed car lover did not want to miss this opportunity either. After all, he has a very special connection to cars: Bilstein also has dampers in his private vehicle. Even thirty years after installation, they still function perfectly.

Two car enthusiasts are talking for real: Driftbrother Elias Hountondji and our CEO Guido Kerkhoff.
Two car enthusiasts are talking for real: Driftbrother Elias Hountondji and our CEO Guido Kerkhoff.
Before the starting signal for their road trip, all participants met again for a drink in our quarter-owned pub
Before the starting signal for their road trip, all participants met again for a drink in our quarter-owned pub "Q3". Understandable, since all colleagues share the same passion for the automotive industry.
No real bar without a soccer table! However, instead of using wooden soccer players, our colleagues in Scandinavia will compete with our sports cars.
No real bar without a soccer table! However, instead of using wooden soccer players, our colleagues in Scandinavia will compete with our sports cars.

Our aim is to shape mobility not only today but also in the future. That is why our developers are already facing the challenges of tomorrow. We develop innovations that we not only tailor to the needs of our customers, but also to the most important trends of the coming years. We want to help shape the future of the automotive industry in a sustainable way and when it comes to changing the automotive industry, we have no speed limit.

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