July 29, 2022
Cosworth has sparked a new effort with its US sales team by appointing Harry Kiafoulis as the North American Director of Sales, with plans to broaden their OEM customer base in the United States.
Kiafoulis has be brought in to lead the US side of the business with growing the customer base by reaching wider range of companies and vehicle types. He will also play an integral part of developing the brands existing partnerships with the likes of IndyCar and GM.
Cosworth has been part of the American market for over 55 years with engines for the IndyCar championship and later with electronics for US motorsport series and OEMs. With over 25 years of automotive experience, in both engineering and sales, Kiafoulis has both the knowledge and ability to push Cosworth products further into the North American market. His leadership and sales skill set have been honed in a range of roles from working as a manufacturing engineer for the Ford Motor Company to Sales Director at Harman, working with audio, infotainment and digital cockpit systems for large OEMs.
While at the Ford Motor Company, Harry and his team achieved the highest reduction in warranty figures through the implementation of the Six Sigma statistical and data-driven process to limit defects and issues within the manufacturing process earning him and his team Ford’s Presidents award, emphasising his attention to detail and expertise. Six Sigma focuses in on cycle-time improvements while reducing manufacturing defects to no more than 3.4 occurrences per million units or events.
Kiafoulis will be working closely with the rest of the US Sales team and the Managing Director of Performance Electronics, Stef Balkowiec to capitalise on Cosworth’s already existing electronics product range and the AliveDrive ecosystem, which has been developed to enhance the user experience, in terms of extracting driver and vehicle performance and aiding road safety. AliveDrive has been developed to be integrated within the OEM infotainment system and can be tailored to include a range of functions from data and video acquisition to performance analysis.
Q+A WITH HARRY KIAFOULIS
What was your route into the automotive industry?
My career began as a manufacturing engineer at Ford. There I attended Six Sigma training and went on to earn the President’s award, where we achieved the highest reduction in warranty figures back in 2002. Years later, I was approached by a supplier with whom I regularly worked together, he suggested I take on a new career pathway in technical sales. That’s when I decided to join Continental and honed my skills as an account manager. The last eight years of my career were spent at Harman, where I was Sales Director and involved with both audio and infotainment products, working with and calling on every North American OEM.
Now that you’re here at Cosworth what are your key responsibilities as Director of Sales, North America?
As of right now, our OEM partnership programme is just with General Motors. We also have a technical partnership with IndyCar so we also take care of motorsport sales in the US with our team based in Indianapolis. We supply every team in IndyCar with our motorsport electronics packages.
What brought you to Cosworth and made you take up your position here?This has got some history so, from about the age of 10, I became interested in cars and I had begged my parents to buy me a Motor Trend magazine subscription. They eventually gave in and bought the magazine subscription, and I have it still all these years later. It was that magazine that really furthered my interest in cars and really the rest is history. As a self-proclaimed car guy, I of course knew about Cosworth, the company has a great reputation and storied history in motorsport. When I received the call inquiring about my interest in the North American Director of Sales for the brand, I was certainly intrigued and excited about the opportunity to join such a great organisation.
What was your understanding of the brand before and after you joined?
So, I knew Cosworth as a market leader in motorsport and all things “go and control”, I’m referring to high performance propulsion and electronics. As the company achieves its growth strategy our brand will reach an even greater audience and I’m really excited for that future.
I think we are entering a new era, an era that will bring a much broader customer base, beyond that of the niche, high performance projects. I’m thrilled to be a part of this and a catalyst that can help drive this new future.
What do you aim to achieve while you’re here at Cosworth?
We will take Cosworth and its products to a wider audience. The electrification of automobiles is picking up a lot of pace and Cosworth will be a vital part of that future. So, the before and after for the brand is really what I believe I will be a large part of.
The history is there with Cosworth. I think that good companies understand their history, but they also know how to leverage it towards a better future. Cosworth has been setting itself up for years to become an integral part of the electrification process, especially with the recent acquisition of Delta. We are lockstep with OEMs and other partners and it’s upon me to land those opportunities and the great thing is, we’re already moving in the right direction with expanding our reach. For instance, we have an announcement coming up soon, with a leading OEM about a new electric car that we will have new product in that will take our customer base from high performance niche to a broader market and I’m really excited to see this project come to fruition.
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