Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. Participants are asked to respond to a series of questions that can be answered in about the same amount of time you might spend chatting at the office coffee pot or waiting for an elevator. In this installment of “5 Minutes With,” we get to know a little more about Rafael Honda, president of Bosch Brake Components.
Tell us about your new role and what you like best about it.
For the past four years, I have served as the president of Bosch Brake Components, North America. Prior to my current role, I held multiple positions throughout Bosch Automotive Aftermarket for a total of 20 years. Now, I oversee the North American team in developing and promoting best-in-class solutions for commercial goods, which broadly encompass brake components, spark plugs and rotating machines, in quite a fast-paced marketplace. After those years, still the best part of my job is working with our people! I feel very fortunate to work alongside such a talented group of individuals who choose to put their best foot forward every day.
What career would you pursue if you didn’t do what you do now?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Therefore, I always saw it within myself to grow my own business if it came down to it. Of course, with over two decades of experience in mobility, I always see myself working in automotive, but maybe in the services sector or developing new markets. I always look forward to talking with customers and users. It is something I appreciate a lot.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self just starting out?
You are the result of what you do and not what you think. Try things and follow on your passion. That has always proved true to me.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions or set annual goals for yourself? If yes, what’s your process and what goals do you have for 2023?
I like to set annual goals for business rather than creating resolutions. It’s an intuitive process at first for me. While I spend time with my family and associates at work in the New Year, I also let myself out of my day-to-day bubble to connect with people and myself. Being present can be a powerful resource to calibrate targets before deploying it – as well to bridge the needed confidence of the team to strive for it. After that, setting targets is just an expression of what we envision together.
Do you have a favorite podcast or YouTube channel? Please share!
I may have some bias but, “Beyond Bosch” is one of my favorite podcasts! Listening to it is a good way to connect to our tech development and gain insight from some of our best professionals firsthand.
Skill Check: Think fast – does your car have a cabin air filter and do you know where it is located?
That’s an easy one! Mine is behind the glove box and has a Bosch HEPA filter, which is the best product to assure air quality in the cabin.
Name a favorite trip you’ve made or one place on your “bucket list” you’d like to see?
I’m a traveler myself. On top of my USA residency, I hold an Italian and Brazilian citizenship. I’m also a quadrilingual, speaking Portuguese, German, English, and Spanish. I grew up loving new cultures and wanting to explore the world.
Any coastal area where I can meet friends or family is my favorite destination. One which is on my bucket list is the island of Okinawa, Japan. I would love to visit the Amalfi coast as well, but the list can definitely
What one word would your coworkers use to describe you?
I like to think that they see me as a good partner for ideas and developing the business. I also strive to be passionate and driven, something that lives within the Bosch leadership culture as a whole.