When it comes to the fastidious construction standards of the C-Series, most ‘bucks’ stop with Wayne Schowalter. If a nut is tightened a millimetre beyond its optimal torque, a timing belt is too tight, a subframe a gram over specification, or a supplier uses a fractionally different shade of black paint – Wayne will have questions to answer.
It’s a big load for our 24-year-old quality engineer, but one he takes comfortably in his stride every day.
Like most members of the Savic team, Wayne feels blessed to have landed in a role that perfectly matches his professional skills and his personal aspirations.
“For years, it’s been my dream to work for a motorcycle company, and in Australia jobs like this are few and far between,” says Wayne. “So when Dennis offered me this job, I leapt at the opportunity!”
That was in July 2020, when the company was still in its infancy and didn’t have the resources to appoint a full-time quality engineer. So Wayne, fresh from an automotive engineering degree, began helping the Savic team establish its quality systems and processes – working evenings and weekends around a similar role at National Australia Bank.
Following our 2021 capital raise, Wayne was able to join Savic Motorcycles full time, helping to establish a stringent series of quality controls for every component of the C-Series, as well as rigorous processes for inspecting and testing parts from third-party suppliers. “While many manufacturers just stood still in COVID, we continued to refine our vehicle, our manufacturing processes, and our supplier relationships,” he says. “I think it’s a reflection of the passion and commitment of every member of the team that COVID didn’t slow us down, but actually made us get even better.”
Although on paper he’s in charge of quality at Savic, Wayne says he couldn’t do the job without the advice and support of two “invaluable” mentors: quality advisor Assaf Shevach and QMS specialist Jelena Stankovic, who’s strongly supported the setup of our supplier management systems. “Without Jelena and Assaf, there’s no way I could have done this job,” says Wayne.
His natural modesty aside, we reckon Wayne’s a pretty invaluable member of the team himself – and has certainly played a significant role in ensuring the C-Series lives up to its precise design specifications and meticulous manufacturing standards.
2022 will be a big year for Wayne, as we prepare for Australian Design Rules (ADR) compliance and the other homologation and certification tests that will precede our arrival on local roads.
“Savic Motorcycles is not just a company we all work for – it’s a very significant project that everyone here is deeply invested in and wants passionately to succeed. It’s going to be a big moment for me to get our ADR compliance, and an equally big moment to see our first bike delivered to its owner. That’s going to be quite a surreal moment, actually – realising the goal that’s been driving us all for all this time.”