Robert A. Boutin                                                                           44493 White Pine Circle East

Northville, MI  48168                                                                                                              (248)931-1342 (M)





MBA, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (will graduate September 2008).  General Management curriculum.
echanical Engineering, B.Sc., Michigan Technological University (1990).  Graduated cum laude.


ThyssenKrupp Presta Steering (formerly Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen GmbH), Troy, MI

Senior Manager-CBU NAFTA Steering Gears, July 2005-October 2007

Manager-CBU Chrysler, Customer and Project Management, July 2004-July 2005

Program Manager, March 2003 – July 2004


Through progressively responsible roles with Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen and ThyssenKrupp, I successfully:

      Led a cross-border (USA/Germany) development program for a hydraulic rack and pinion steering gear design which is based on the domestic OEM requirement of low cost/good quality instead of the Mercedes-Benz best practice of “quality at any cost”.  ED validation successfully completed on a design which reduced material costs by over 25%, and has completed five months of testing on a customer durability vehicle without any incidents

      Launched Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen’s first North American production program (WK Grand Cherokee rack and pinion steering gear).  Launched in a new manufacturing facility in Charleston, SC, with a new management team, and with new assembly lines.  Product launched on time with no quality issues.

      Managed profit/loss for a $50 million book of business

      Managed six direct reports with a $1.4 million administrative budget and a $3.8 million project budget.

      Led our TS-16949 certification effort, successfully achieving certification on our first Stage 2 audit.

      Brought a $4 million assembly line in on time for a customer pre-PSO run, even though our supplier had convinced management there was no possibility of improving on a 3 month delay.

      Implemented $2 million  in material savings, keeping 100% of savings within ThyssenKrupp.

      Implemented an assembly line capacity increase from 251,000 to 356,000 annually three months after launch at a cost of $250,000 where Advanced Manufacturing had accepted the supplier’s original $1.9 million proposal.

      Guided the organization through a challenging first year of production.  Implemented cost reductions to offset skyrocketing steel and aluminum prices.  Negotiated a new commercial agreement when customer orders exceeded committed capacity, obtaining reimbursements for overtime and other premium costs associated with running the plant on a 24/7 schedule.  Negotiated a $350,000 yard hold quality charge down to $34,000 due to speed and completeness of resolution.  Successfully forced our customer to pay in full for a second assembly line ($1.5 million) to meet higher than agreed to volumes in order to go back to a five-day operation.  Recovered over $2 million in unpaid receivables from our customer.  Led a problem-solving team to identify root causes of the unpaid invoices and forced implementation of corrective actions.

      Earned a reputation with my staff and employer as an honest, pragmatic leader by putting the team first and always giving more credit than taking.  Developed strong customer relationships rooted in integrity and fairness to both the customer and my employer.



Senior Platform Manager, September 2001 – March 2003


Global engineering responsibility for all Chrysler Group Family Vehicle and Premium Vehicle driveline products produced by GKN worldwide, including:


      All Wheel Drive Modules, Torque Transfer Units, Propshafts, Front Halfshafts, and Rear Halfshafts

      Revenue of $125 million annually

      Direct supervision of three U.S.-based Application Engineers, indirect supervision of Engineering Managers in Celaya, Mexico and Zumaya, Spain


Platform Manager, April 2001 – August 2001

System Integration management of the GMT390/391 AWD System, consisting of  Power Takeoff Unit, Rear Axle, Three-Piece Propshaft, Front Halfshafts, Rear Halfshafts


      Directed redesign of three-piece propshaft which resulted in cost reduction of center bearing support brackets from $35 each to $1.50 each, while increasing stiffness to meet NVH targets, and eliminating a major fastener access issue with vehicle assembly.  At the same time, optimized the propshaft design to replace a High Speed Fixed CV Joint with an inexpensive Cardan Joint, providing further value to the customer


FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Truck Vehicle Center, Compact Pickup Powertrain Subsystem Engineering

Driveline System and Integration Engineer, June 2000 – March 2001


Design & Release responsibility for 2003 Ford Ranger Pickup driveline system


      Driveline NVH responsibility for engineering section



Systems Platform Manager, July 1999 – April 2000

Driveline System Project Manager, May 1998 ‑ July 1999


Managed the engineering development and validation activities for the DaimlerChrysler PT74 AWD System program.  Led technical activities at GKN line companies, Joint Ventures, R&D Centers, Tier 2 suppliers, and other system integration partners.  AWD content consisted of front and rear CVJ halfshafts, power takeoff unit, two-piece propshaft, and rear differential module with integrated torque-transfer device.



      Led a team of Application Engineers from within GKN and Tier 2 suppliers to design and deliver eleven PT74 AWD Systems ($32,000 each) for the first mule build of 3/99.  All parts were delivered on time and vehicles were built on schedule, with no functional problems of any kind encountered

      Responsible for a $600,000 development budget for PT74.  Kept development expenditures $200,000 below budget by taking advantage of CAE tools


Product Engineering Manager, Specialty Vehicles, March 1997 ‑ April 1998

Project Engineer, September 1995 ‑ February 1997


Technical half of a two‑man sales team responsible for N. American sales and engineering representation for:

    GKN Viscodrive GmbH, Lohmar, Germany ‑‑ Limited Slip Differentials

    GKN Birfield SpA, Brunico, Italy ‑‑ Constant Velocity Halfshafts

    GKN Transmisiones Espaa, Zumaya, Spain ‑‑ Cardan Joint Propeller Shafts


      Sold GKN's first driveline system to Bombardier, Inc. for a 4WD All Terrain Vehicle

      Led a global team to develop and launch the Bombardier 4WD system.  Directed engineering, development, and validation activities between GKN AI (Michigan), GKN Viscodrive (Germany), GKN Technology (Germany), GKN Ayra Cardan (Spain), GKN Birfield (Italy), Warn Industries (Oregon), and Bombardier (Quebec)

      Increased sales of ATV halfshafts to Polaris Industries from $7 million to $17 million within two years

      Led engineering effort to introduce the Visco-Lok limited slip front differential into production at Bombardier, the first production application of this technology worldwide


TRW Steering & Suspension Systems, North and South America

Rack & Pinion Division, Rogersville, TN

Product Engineer, February 1992 ‑ September 1995


Technical Engineering Consultants

Assigned to GM Powertrain Division, Ypsilanti, MI

Project Engineer, January 1991 ‑ February 1992


TRW Steering & Suspension Systems North America

Sterling Heights, MI

Co‑op Engineer, September 1987 ‑ May 1990



6,666,771  Crash optimized plunging CV joint

6,484,976  Center bearing hanger assembly

5,911,286  Independent suspension and halfshaft assembly with double crown spline joint

11/668,126  Clampless steering gear bellow for automated assembly (Patent Pending)