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Event held to support women in the automotive industry – AM

An automotive industry event has been held to show the importance of attracting and retaining women in the industry.

The event, created by automotive executive search specialists Ennis Co, was hosted at Aston Martin’s W-1 Park Lane facility in London.

A panel of speakers – senior professional women from the automotive industry and secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities, Nicky Morgan – discussed the importance of attracting and retaining women in the automotive industry.
An audience of some 60 delegates, mostly women, from across the industry, voted on a number of topical questions proposed by both the speakers and hosts. Ennis Co will publish the results in November.

Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said: “Central to our long term economic plan is ensuring that all women should have the chance and skills to succeed in their chosen career and get ahead in sectors like the motor industry.

“This is why we’re improving careers guidance and supporting initiatives like the Your Life campaign, which aim to drive up the number of young people studying and pursuing careers in the vital areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.”
Ennis Co Founder Lynda Ennis said: “There is such a commitment from our delegates and speakers to ensure that we continue the good work already begun in the sector that we intend to form a working group to ensure we continue to attract women to the industry.

“We asked our audience at the start and end of the evening how positive they felt that they can make a difference to this, and the good news is that they felt more positive by the end of the night! We intend to ensure this momentum continues.”

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Auto Industry Shifts Gears

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Lamar Alexander lays out three keys for Tennessee’s automotive industry

Alexander Lamar 091412 600

Sen. Lamar Alexander

Scott Harrison
Staff Reporter- Nashville Business Journal


While sharing anecdotes on bringing Nissan’s first manufacturing plant to Tennessee during his time as governor, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander outlined Thursday three keys for the state to maintain its position in automotive manufacturing.

Alexander, who was speaking at AutoConnect 2014, an auto industry conference hosted by Frost Brown Todd law firm at the Music City Center, first pointed to preserving Tennessee’s right-to-work status.

“Defend the right-to-work law. That’s important and it’s under attack,” Alexander said, adding that union actions before the National Labor Relations Board “can send a real chill to efforts to recruit a tier-two supplier to Tennessee.

“If a plant in Michigan, a supplier who wants to come to Tennessee and gets stopped by an action by the National Labor Relations Board, that might discourage that from happening,” Alexander said. He pointed to a union attempt to prevent Boeing from moving part of its operations from Washington to South Carolina, which has a right-to-work law.

The attempt to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga has been the most visible push against Tennessee’s predominantly non-union automotive sector, with a potential impact for automakers throughout the Southeast, as the Nashville Business Journal reported last year.

In a February vote, workers voted not to affiliate with the UAW, though the union group has since started a voluntary campaign to sign up workers. Volkswagen has said it would recognize the union once it represented 50 percent of the plant’s workers.

“Defending [right-to-work] in the future may be just as important to us as it was in the past in terms of attracting, not just Nissan and Volkswagen, but General Motors and the UAW partnership,” Alexander said Thursday.

Scott Harrison covers government and economic development, banking and law.

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Nashville touted as new auto industry leader

A leading automotive expert called Nashville “the capital of the new American auto industry” and urged its leaders Thursday to pay close attention to three major trends unfolding at the same time.

Paul Ingrassia, managing editor of Reuters and a Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive industry journalist and author, said there are significant changes on the way in the way car engines work, in the use of satellite communications technology and in the emerging development of unmanned vehicles.

“Three simultaneous technological revolutions are sweeping across the global auto industry. They all have significant social implications as well as industry implications. And they’re occurring against the backdrop of an industry that is enjoying a rare state of prosperity … in most major markets around the globe.”

Tennessee cannot remain stagnant if it wants to continue to see growth among automotive manufacturers and suppliers, which now have a presence in nearly every county, Ingrassia said.

“There’s a lot of experimentation going on right now,” he said.

The AutoConnect event was created last year to improve understanding of industry trends and bring together car makers, suppliers, financiers and legislative experts.

“The market is back,” said Robert Sartin, co-chair of the automotive team for the Frost Brown Todd law firm, which organized the event. “The question is, what can be done to sustain that?”

Sartin said success depends on different segments working together. For example, right now the demand for new vehicles is up, but their parts are not being manufactured fast enough.

Ingrassia said that for the first time since he started covering the industry in the mid-1980s none of the top-tier auto-makers is on the brink of bankruptcy. “Today almost all the major companies are posting solid financial results, and some frankly are better than solid,” he said

Because it is centrally located, Tennessee is positioned to reap the benefit of the widespread economic recovery in the automotive industry, Sartin said. That, in turn, helps other parts of the country.

“This region is so important to the industry,” he said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, in the keynote address, told auto industry leaders that Tennessee must stay the course if it wants to remain attractive to auto manufacturers and suppliers. That means maintaining good roads, improving job skill training and protecting the right-to-work law, which limits the power of unions.

“They’re three pretty obvious things,” he said.

The Republican leader, who is running for another term, was governor in the early 1980s when Nissan built a massive plant in Smyrna. Others have followed.

Alexander said the state must not mess with what works if it wants to continue to see growth. “We’re pretty proud of our state, where we’ve come from, but we’re more excited about where we’re going,” he said.

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Open Mobile Alliance Partners With Automotive Industry Experts as the Car …

SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwired – Oct 24, 2014) – The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) has announced that they will be moderating a panel at this year’s Telematics West Coast conference; the panel titled ‘The car steps out into the connected world’ will be comprised of industry leaders and moderated by senior OMA representative, Dr. Eshwar Pittampalli.

The panel is set to cover the latest developments and predictions in the In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) market and give visitors to the conference a detailed insight into whether the content providers, software architects, tier 1s or OEMs will take ownership of the in-car experience as the industry moves further into the connected world.

Panel member Scott Burnell of Ford will be giving visitors an insight into his argument for the need for a single connectivity platform in the auto industry as well as why he thinks the industry’s main quest should be to deliver an in-vehicle experience and not just a range of apps. “The panel is a great way to discuss the developments in the industry and what is next in the telematics space,” commented Burnell. Furthermore Zach Brand of NPR will discuss on the panel the growing demand for in-vehicle-infotainment as well as the need for a re-fresh on automobiles as opportunities for the connected car grow and grow.

Dr. Eshwar Pittampalli, Director Market Development for the OMA, said, “As the gap between automobiles and Smartphones closes, we continue to see evidence that OMA Enablers are now more applicable than ever within the telematics space. We have already worked with OMA members to highlight the applicability of our enablers for automotive applications.”

Products and services based on OMA Enablers can be used to manage head units, in-vehicle infotainment systems and engine control units. The OEM benefits from production efficiencies and reduced recalls and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can offer services using existing OMA-based infrastructure.

The panel will take place on Thursday 30th October at 14:00-14:45 as part of the Telematics West Coast Conference, held at Hilton San Diego, CA. The panel will be compromised of Scott Burnell – Global Lead, Business Development Partner Management – Ford, Steffen Neumann – Portfolio Manager, App Development Group – Mercedes-Benz Research Development Silicon Valley, Ted Cardenas – Vice President, Car Electronics Division-Pioneer Electronics, Zach Brand – VP for Digital Media-NPR and Bret Scott- Future Technologies Lead – Chrysler. Dr. Eshwar Pittampalli, Director Market Development, Open Mobile Alliance will moderate the panel.

About Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)

OMA is the wireless industry’s focal point for the development of mobile service enabler specifications, which support the creation of interoperable end-to-end mobile services. OMA drives service enabler architectures and open enabler interfaces that are independent of the underlying wireless networks and platforms and that work across devices, service providers, operators, networks and geographies. More information at

To talk more with Eshwar Pittampalli of the Open Mobile Alliance at the Telematics West Coast conference please email to arrange a meeting.

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Design Passion Grows Alongside China’s Auto Industry

WUHAN, China – Automotive design in China is still in its infancy, but the country’s growing power and influence will have a major impact on future vehicles, automotive designers working in China predict.

“Asia will definitely inspire many trends,” notes Diane Kloster, director-color and trim at the Volkswagen design studio in Shanghai. Chinese tastes already are felt in the food and cosmetics, and in their cars Chinese customers have demonstrated an interest in functionality, quality and safety.

“Fabrics used inside the car have to be lighter and should have a touch of sensuality,” Kloster says during a panel discussion of automotive design at the Global Automotive Forum here. “Chinese consumers are looking for a natural quality that offers joy and freedom from anxiety.

“Color is moving lighter. It’s a new kind of luxury,” Kloster says, noting young Chinese designers are bringing with them elements of the country’s strong artistic tradition with its respect for light.

“I think there is an incredible amount of talent in China. But experience is a factor,” says James Hope, design director at local automaker Chery. “Industry’s boomed, but finding designers that have put vehicles in production is very small.”

Chinese designers are putting aside the utilitarian tradition of the past half-century and quickly catching up with current design trends in the global industry, says Hope, who works in Shanghai. The world’s largest city is emerging as the country’s center of automotive design due to its concentration of major studios companies have set up.

In 2013, the Chery TX concept SUV, designed in the automaker’s Shanghai studio, was named Concept Car of the Year for 2012 by the U.K. publication Car Design News. It was the the first time a design from a Chinese studio won the award.

Hope, who worked on exterior design for General Motors before joining Chery in 2012, believes the design of indigenous Chinese cars has improved dramatically in recent years.

“There (once) was quite a gap between Western and Chinese automakers. But if you walked through the Beijing Auto Show this year, you could see some of the Chinese brands were surpassing some of the Western brands,” he says. “I attribute it to how fast the industry is moving.”

Chinese car designs “were a joke, and they’re not anymore. Chinese automakers have made massive improvements,” Hope says. He concedes Chinese companies imported “expat” car designers to help with the transition, but adds a lot of talent now is coming out of local design schools.

Guy Burgoyne, chief director-interior design at Geely, says designers in China are following the broader trends that are reshaping the industry.

When he began his career more than 20 years ago, the job of the interior designer was “to cover the holes in the sheetmetal.” Interior design now is a critical part of any vehicle, he says.

“Cars are also part of the fashion industry. The car says something about the driver. A plastic bag or a handbag from Vuitton does the same thing, don’t they? The plastic bag for some is (the) means to an end, but for others the journey is as important as the destination.”

But there are 250 components in the interior of the car that need the designer’s touch, compared with 50 on the outside. “Let’s talk about finding the balance,” Burgoyne says.

Exterior styling still is a statement, Hope says. But at Chery, color and trim is becoming the most important element of the car’s design, notes Hope, who says his studio uses a horizontal organization chart where exterior, interior and color and trim are equal.

At the same time, Hope says, designers have to have address the rapid changes in technology that are reshaping the automobile in China and are attracting keen interest from customers.

The human-machine interface has become much more important for designers in an era of touchscreens, organic LEDs, occupant-recognition technology, touch-sensitive surfaces and augmented-reality features that bring a new dimension into the cockpit of a vehicle, he says.

Magnus Aspegren, head of BMW Design Works USA in Southern California, notes designers at the same time must convince consumers they still want to drive.

“We’re selling this incredible experience” of freedom and joy, he says. “It moves and responds to your needs and wants. As car designers, we felt that passion and joy.”

However, megacities with millions of residents run counter to the automobile’s century-old promise of greater freedom. “You don’t want to drive among 23 million people,” Aspegren says of Shanghai’s population. “Ninety percent of the drivers today are not able to feel the excitement. That’s unfortunate.”

Aspegren says the challenge of megacities likely requires a different model that includes multiple forms of transportation, including public transportation, while maintaining the pleasures that come with climbing behind the wheel of a well-executed automobile in China or anywhere else.

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Hyman Bros. buying three Pence Automotive dealerships – Richmond Times



Haywood B. “Huddy” Hyman Jr. (center) and his sons Haywood Hyman III (right) and Thomas Hyman are owners of Hyman Bros. Automobiles.



Pence Nissan Vice President Charles Wrenn (left) and Vince Arendosh walk through the showroom of the Midlothian dealership.





“We see this as a good opportunity to grow,” says Haywood B. “Huddy” Hyman Jr., whose Hyman Bros. Automobiles will purchase Pence Automotive Group’s Nissan, Kia and Subaru franchises in Chesterfield County.

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 10:30 pm

Hyman Bros. buying three Pence Automotive dealerships

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Haywood B. “Huddy” Hyman Jr. and his sons are expanding their auto empire again.

Hyman Bros. Automobiles is buying three dealerships from the Pence Automotive Group — Nissan, Kia and Subaru franchises on Midlothian Turnpike just west of Chesterfield Towne Center in Chesterfield County.

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Monday, October 20, 2014 10:30 pm.

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Auto industry forming consortium to fight hackers





DETROIT — Automakers are forming a consortium to deter hackers who might try to breach a vehicle’s security system — an effort that has gotten the blessing of federal regulators.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers are helping to coordinate the effort, said David Strickland, the former director of NHTSA who now is a consultant for Venable LLP.

Automakers want to create secure firewalls for vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and also for vehicle data links to “the cloud.”

The idea is for automakers to share information about attempted security breaches, so that any threat can be quickly neutralized.

Strickland outlined the consortium’s formation Tuesday on the sidelines of the Convergence conference, an event sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

“The goal is to make it very, very hard” for hackers to breach a vehicle’s security system, said Strickland, who is doing some consulting work for one of the participants. “Can you make it a zero risk? No, but you want to make it so hard that you can foreclose most opportunities.”

Contacted Tuesday, an AAM spokesman had no immediate comment.

Bentley Au, chief information security officer for Toyota Motor Sales USA, confirmed that a consortium is being formed and that Toyota is participating.

“It’s just getting started,” said Au, who was a panelist at the conference. “It will be similar to the security consortiums in other industries” such as aviation, the financial industry and the power grid.

It will take a year or so to create the consortium, which Strickland said would be called the Information Sharing Advisory Center, or Auto-ISAC.

You can reach David Sedgwick at

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MIP Graduate Uses MBA To Drive Mexico’s Automotive Industry

Sandra Valdes worked for General Electric for nearly nine years before deciding to expand her horizons and pursue a business education in an international environment.

Choosing MIP Politecnico di Milano as her only option, she successfully completed her MBA in 2012 and returned to Mexico to start working for Sensata Technologies, taking her first steps into the automotive industry.

Sandra spoke to BusinessBecause about her career at GE, the skill-set and international exposure the MBA at MIP gave her, and her career progression over the past two years.

You first studied Industrial Engineering and Administration. Why did you decide to begin an MBA program?

With some years of professional experience, it was time for an update. It was easy for me to make the decision; I knew I wanted to have international experience, [to] escalate up the professional ladder.

Doing a full-time MBA abroad was my best option, and also gave me the chance to accomplish one of my childhood dreams: live in Italy.

What made MIP stand out from other business schools?

MIP was the only school I selected and applied to. It was my first and only option.

I wanted my MBA to be a professional and personal experience. MIP proved that these are important aspects which they care about in many ways.

Do you think that the MBA degree at MIP added value to your skill-set?

Absolutely. It shaped [my skill-set] and added new ones.

I grew up as a leader and tailored my style. MIP also helped me to revive creativity, and to look for alternatives when solving problems. Working in multi-functional teams helped me to become a better listener, and to look at situations from different perspectives.

The atmosphere was perfect to learn in – an international class and a mix of professional backgrounds.

How has your career progressed since the MBA?

I switched from the healthcare to the automotive sector, which I consider a big step as it is more complex.

As an MBA graduate, I participate in activities to progress in different ways. One of them is to represent MIP in the MBA fairs in Mexico, a great opportunity to keep my network growing. Additionally, I’m mentoring Mexican college students [who are] planning to take post-graduate programs abroad.

I also joined the Brickline Group [a business consultancy founded by MIP MBAs] as an advisory board member.

What is your Six Sigma certification in and when did you get it?

It’s the certification I obtained after completing a savings project at GE. It was focused on the reduction of scrap; the waste had a financial impact and the project was to find a better way to procure the material to minimize this expense. The result was a 70% reduction of scrap which produced $50,000 in savings.

Do you think your experience leading teams helped to build your network at MIP?

Yes – GE was a great school to me, and is where I started to learn and practice networking. I remember being shy at the beginning of my career, but once you start to gain credibility, self-confidence starts to grow – as well as your connections.

I have had great mentors that have not just taught me ways or techniques to approach people, but also helped me to grow my network. This is invaluable.

How often do you catch up with your former MIP classmates?

Not as often as I’d like to but we are regularly in touch. There is always someone sending a joke through WhatsApp, [or] posting a job opening on our Facebook page. We became a great family.

A quote from one of my classmates: “Thank you, MIP admissions team, for gathering us and forming this amazing class.”

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Tata AutoComp, Katcon in JV to make exhaust systems for automotive industry


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