“First you learn, then you win, they say…”
Sergio Martínez Campos, CEO of Hispano Suiza, feels success is not overnight. It’s a continuous process of learning, winning, and then learning some more. Personally, Sergio is not one of those who are satisfied with the results from day to day, “when I reach a goal, I immediately set myself a new challenge that can make the team and the brand that we represent better,” he says. “But it is important to be grateful for the good things in life and enjoy the journey, even if sometimes the journey is not easy, that will make you appreciate the effort and passion with which I face things much more.”
As a leader, Sergio only wants to be able to do his job so that he can help and support the whole team so that everything is coordinated and give them all the necessary tools so that they can go in the same direction most efficiently and effectively. “Sometimes this is not an easy task, especially when you have to meet tight deadlines or are under pressure to deliver results,” explains Sergio. “A little bit of pressure is not yet a bad thing, it is even good since it turns into tension, and you respond better to it because it makes you attentive and alive to be able to enjoy your decisions, so you know your team perfectly with their individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as yours, is of the utmost importance.”
According to the steadfast leader, during the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences for business in general, being a better leader has become even more critical. So, among the many things he learned during these challenging times are: listening more, being flexible and adaptable, and being there whenever he needs to be. “Plans don’t always work, so being able to quickly find workarounds is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons he learned. A call on time solves everything,” he adds.
A Sense of Caring
Hispano Suiza has managed from the beginning that each person on the team feels like an important part of the project, a person who identifies with it and has a unique sense of belonging. One of the main qualities is the passion and involvement in the day-to-day with an innate effort and a highly planned methodology to achieve a common goal, which above all, is to position the brand at the top of what it can be. So, every day, leave the best legacy for the future of those who follow them.
The company firmly believes in the value of youth, and they support young talents. For this, Hispano Suiza has collaborated with initiatives such as IESE, ESADE, NYU, ESERP, or the IED (European Institute of Design) of Barcelona and Turin to inspire, challenge, and offer an opportunity to young talents so that one day they will be part of the Hispanic Family. With the latest initiative, they asked the IED Turin students to develop a creative project linked to the 120th anniversary of the brand, which will be celebrated in 2024: reinterpret the future Hispano Suiza car and adapt it to the future. This collaboration allowed the students to face the demands of a legendary automobile brand, a pioneer of excellence in the automotive sector, and the needs of an international market, bringing out their personality and passion.
Pioneering since 1904
It is pertinent to mention that Hispano Suiza invented, in its day, the hypercar segment and even an electric one. It may not have the same meaning in today’s world, but the concept was indeed there. Between 1904 and 1946, Hispano Suiza manufactured more than 12,000 cars that offered the most incredible luxury and technology, which today continues to be the core of our DNA. Their president Miguel Suqué Mateu, the fourth generation of the family that founded Hispano Suiza, always tells them: “the path has already been written for more than 118 years, now we just have to follow it and be faithful to our principles and values”. For Sergio, representing an entire family is a responsibility that requires outstanding excellence.
The sportier version of its sister hypercar Carmen, the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne, pays homage to the historic motorsport victories achieved by Hispano Suiza in the early 1920s. Top speed is limited to 290 km/h, and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.6 s. Weighing just 1,630 kg thanks to its carbon fiber bodywork, the Carmen Boulogne is powered by four permanent magnet synchronous motors, two on each rear wheel. Sophisticated vectoring systems control the torque of each motor developed in-house with the experience gained in Formula E. The lithium-ion polymer battery has a capacity of 80 kWh, which allows it to create a range of up to 250 miles.
The Hispano Suiza Carmen and Carmen Boulogne have been developed on the circuit. To create these two cars, Hispano Suiza worked with QEV Technologies, an automotive engineering company that won the world title in the Formula E championship. With 1,019 CV of power (1,114 CV in the Boulogne version) and taking less than three seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill, the Carmen and Carmen Boulogne are one of the most influential and fastest road cars in the world.
After completing the design and manufacturing process, Hispano Suiza handed over the steering wheel to a former Formula 1 driver: Luis Pérez-Sala. Pérez-Sala has been in charge of track and road development of the model since the return of the Hispano Suiza was announced and has worked to make the select group of owners of the new Hispano Suiza feel like racing drivers. In addition to Pérez Sala, Pablo Suárez, an experienced rally and rallycross driver trained as a motorsport engineer, also participated in the development process, witnessing the creation of a true work of art on wheels.
“I guess the fact that each Hispano Suiza is unique. Thanks to the brand’s Unique Tailormade programme, customers have access to a wide variety of options to create the style they’ve dreamed of their entire lives,” elucidates Sergio. “There are more than 1,904 possible combinations, so no two Hispano Suiza are the same. Furthermore, no request from our clients is off limits – we can create truly bespoke colours, one-of-a-kind interiors using the world’s most luxurious materials. In short, we make the dream of our clients come true since 1904.”
Sergio Martínez Campos