As we reflect on 2021 and look forward to 2022, I have three main thoughts: the challenges presented by COVID-19 are some of the most difficult our company has ever faced; I have never been more proud of the Roush team; and I have never been so excited about what the future holds. Because of the incredible strength of our team, we have been able to manage our business through this tumultuous period in a positive way and all the normal indicators of our health and our opportunities are very strong. The things that have set Roush apart for almost 50 years – technical curiosity, creativity, agility, resiliency – played a big part in our ability to successfully navigate the challenges of the last 18 months. This, coupled with infrastructure changes we had already begun to put in place, make us very well-positioned to capture exciting new opportunities driven by the rapid transformation we see in key markets.
COVID has been an unprecedented challenge – one of the most difficult in my 41 years at Roush, which surprised me. From a business perspective, I didn’t think I’d see anything harder than the economic disruption of ’08-’09. Tactically, we hit the ground running; making sure everyone was safe, creating playbooks, remaining productive and circling the wagons to support our customers. What our people did to ensure that our customers were taken care of during this time was nothing short of extraordinary.
What has been more challenging is grappling with the emotional toll the pandemic has had on our team members and their families as they deal with health concerns, childcare concerns, quarantining, remote learning challenges and more. Empathy for our teammates has been top of mind for the last 18 months. One of the things that I’ve been most concerned about is protecting our “all for one, one for all, arm-in-arm 24/7” mentality when COVID necessitated incorporating remote/hybrid working with a traditional, on-site model. We recognize that Roush solves extremely complex problems by having a team that works together really, really, well so our leadership team is focused on enhancing wellness and collaboration. Hybrid working models are a reality for now, so we have to remain vigilant to not lose our edge in this transition.
I’m in the somewhat unique position of being CEO of the company I have worked for my entire professional career. People always ask what has kept me at Roush for so long. At first it was the challenge of living up to what Jack Roush saw in me, a 19-year-old college student he hired to sweep floors during the summer. Creating opportunity is one of Jack’s core beliefs. At times, he probably gave me more opportunity than I was ready for, but that motivated me. Then, for a long time, the incredible diversity of what we do made every day exciting. Now it’s about how far can we go; how do we drive it even further.
I see my role, and the role of the executive team, as doing the things we need to do to position ourselves for continued growth while preserving the elements of the Roush DNA that have gotten us to where we are today. We continually evaluate and assess what we need to capture the opportunities presented by rapidly evolving technologies. We haven’t fallen into the trap of assuming that what worked before will work in the future. The challenge is determining how we hold onto positive elements of our early years and an incredibly rich DNA but put in place the things our larger, more diverse organization needs to support its own weight – like a plane, we need structure to soar.
Energy and excitement have continued to accelerate over the last 18 months. We’re working with the players who are dramatically moving the needle forward in the EV and autonomy spaces. Our employees feel the energy that comes from the realization that we are truly part of changing the future of transportation. As we continue to navigate an evolving workplace, ensuring the health and safety of our employees, supply chain and workforce constraints and more, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we are at an amazing inflection point in the history of mobility.
Solving difficult technical problems quickly is what we do incredibly well at Roush. I hope everyone at Roush is as proud as I am of the way we’ve reacted to the challenges of 2021 and, together with our customers, share my optimism and excitement for 2022 and beyond.
and roush made it happen: supporting sustainability
March 11th, 2022
what’s the tipping point for e-mobility adoption?
March 2nd, 2022
roush ceo evan lyall with a look back at 2021 and an optimistic outlook for 2022
January 19th, 2022
leave a dent: you won’t believe all of the cool things we do
November 2nd, 2021
and roush made it happen: full adrenaline at theme parks
October 14th, 2021
tackling a startup’s challenges with solutions that are “just right”
September 20th, 2021
and roush made it happen: creating quality in the defense industry
August 24th, 2021
and roush made it happen: flying high in air mobility
August 10th, 2021
and roush made it happen: increasing quality by reducing nvh
July 20th, 2021
flexible assembly brings the remarkable to life
July 6th, 2021
and roush made it happen
June 2nd, 2021