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Dr. Ruth Heuss

Senior PartnerBerlin

As global leader of McKinsey Sustainability, serves companies in the automotive and machinery industries on future mobility, decarbonization strategies, and product development

Ruth is a senior partner in McKinsey's Berlin office. She leads our activities related to future mobility, decarbonization strategies, and product development for automotive OEMs and suppliers. Ruth also spends significant time on advancing diversity in the workplace—within and beyond the firm.

Examples of Ruth’s recent projects include the following:

  • setting up an organizational unit for future software development for an automotive OEM
  • improving software development and integration processes for an OEM, including separation of features from hardware
  • driving a leadership development and agile project for a large automotive conglomerate
  • performing a cybersecurity readiness assessment for an automotive OEM
  • leading the electric vehicles strategy for an engineering and manufacturing service provider, pushing a platform-pre-development on the market
  • assessing the flexible manufacturing strategy for an electric vehicle, including initial site selection and ramp-up plan for an automotive supplier
  • leading multiple projects on energy-storage opportunities
  • introducing an IoT platform for security cameras in a build-operate-transfer approach, including business case, minimum viable product for the platform, ecosystem building, and talent hiring
  • leading a holistic performance improvement program for an automotive supplier
  • leading a lean R&D project including footprint strategy for an automotive supplier with several business units
  • leading modularization projects—including governance implications—for a global machinery company and a large automotive conglomerate

Ruth recently spoke on the topic of ‘Why the automotive sector needs more female leaders ‘ at the 2020 Wo-Men Automotive Summit.

Published work

A road map for Europe’s automotive industry,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

Autonomous driving’s future: Convenient and connected,” McKinsey & Company, January 2023

Why investing in company location still matters,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Reaching net zero—what will it take?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Unlocking the growth opportunity in battery manufacturing equipment,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

The road to affordable autonomous mobility,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022

Electrifying the bottom line: How OEMs can boost EV profitability,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Net-zero Germany: Chances and challenges on the path to climate neutrality by 2045,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Why the automotive future is electric,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

Net zero or bust: Beating the abatement cost curve for growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

The irresistible momentum behind clean, electric, connected mobility: Four key trends,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2021

Design cost-effective, carbon-abated products with resource cleansheets,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

Don’t just follow the money—lead it with a standard cost model,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Building an integrated technology road map to drive successful innovation,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

Testing and validation: From hardware focus to full virtualization?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2017

Outsourced engineering services: From providers to collaboration partners,” McKinsey & Company, August 2017

Building an integrated technology road map to drive successful innovation,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

Past experience

RWTH Aachen
Research assistant at the institute of reactor technology and safety


RWTH Aachen
PhD, mechanical engineering