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Hans-Werner Kaas

Senior Partner, Detroit
Advises automotive and machinery companies on growth strategy, operations transformation, and organizational effectiveness

About Hans-Werner

Hans-Werner cofounded McKinsey’s Automotive & Assembly Practice in the Americas and now helps lead the firm’s global work in advanced industries. He advises many of the world’s leading automotive and industrial-machinery companies on growth strategy, technology-digital-enabled and performance transformation, performance improvement, and organizational redesign and effectiveness throughout the value chain.

Examples of Hans-Werner’s recent client work include the following:

  • assisting industrial and automotive players with navigation through disruptive forces, portfolio and growth strategies, M&A, postmerger management, and large-scale performance improvement
  • serving a leading automotive OEM on a strategy for growth in China, addressing product-strategy, marketing, sales, and organizational issues
  • helping a global automotive supplier with a material-cost and operations-improvement program, covering opportunity prioritization and implementation
  • developing a strategy for growth in nonautomotive areas for a leading automotive supplier
  • working with a global heavy-machinery OEM on a strategy for growth in aftermarket and parts areas
  • supporting a technical consumer-goods company on multiple operational programs, covering product development, purchasing, supply chain, and manufacturing

As the coauthor of several publications on the automotive industry, Hans-Werner has written about product development, quality management, integrated cost reduction, profitable growth, and the future of the auto-supply sector. He also has helped lead research efforts on the future of the automotive and mobility industries, including technology transformation, electric vehicles, connectivity in automotive and mobility, autonomous vehicles, and new data- and analytics-enabled business models (including the Internet of Things), through the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility.

Hans-Werner joined McKinsey in 1991 and worked in the Frankfurt, Vienna, and Cleveland offices before moving to Detroit, where he helped open the office in 1998 and has been based since. As a longtime member of Business Leaders For Michigan, he also works closely with local business leaders to help strengthen the state’s competitiveness and economic development.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Hans-Werner worked as a production technology planning consultant. He is fluent in English, French, and German.

Published work

Building a more competitive US manufacturing sector,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2021

Winning the race for talent: A road map for the automotive industry,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Self-driving cars and the future of the auto sector,” McKinsey & Company, August 2016

Disruptive trends that will transform the auto industry,” McKinsey & Company, January 2016

The future of the North American automotive supplier industry: Evolution of component costs, penetration, and value creation potential through 2020, McKinsey & Company, March 2012

McKinsey conversations with global leaders: Jim Owens of Caterpillar,” McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, November 2010

Sheila Bonini and Hans-Werner Kaas, “Building a sustainable Ford Motor Company: An interview with Bill Ford,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2010

Past experience

production technology planning consultant

Imperial Chemical Industries
Investment trainee and analyst


Technical University of Kaiserslautern
MS, mechanical engineering and business administration