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Altran expands to Detroit, brings passive safety solutions to U.S.


This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

Pedestrian passive safety is a concept that means little to the average American, yet it’s been part of vehicle safety development in Europe for nearly a decade.

Altran, the largest global, multi-industry engineering, research, and development powerhouse, with $3 billion in revenue and 45,000 employees in 20 countries--but relative newcomer to the Detroit region--has deep expertise in pedestrian passive safety. Altran’s skilled workforce has been testing pedestrian passive safety solutions, as well as airbags and vehicle interiors, in its World Class Passive Safety Center in Wixom since opening in November, 2107. The center joins others of its kind operated by Altran in Austria, Germany, Canada, and France.

Known as active bonnet or active hood, these passive safety systems work to decrease injury to pedestrians in the case of impact, and in some cases, the need for these systems can drive the design of the vehicle. Manufacturers that export vehicles to Europe know all about active bonnet systems, but it’s just a matter of time before domestic vehicle models will be required to incorporate this type of safety technology, says Sebastian Wipfler, manager of the Altran’s World Class Center in Wixom.

“If you are driving a car, you can work to prevent an accident, but if there is an accident, the car has to be developed to give the pedestrian the highest chance to survive,” says Wipfler. European regulations require testing to prove that vehicles will do minimal damage to pedestrians on impact.

Here in the U.S., there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities in 2015, an increase from the previous year.

“The automotive industry is continually working to make cars safer, and one of the critical elements of making a car driverless is managing the safety,” says Mohan Raju, Altran head of automotive North America."We all work to prevent collision using active safety, or maneuvering the car using technology, and this is essentially the work going on in the autonomous vehicle space.”

Until driverless vehicles are mainstream in the market, passive safety measures that minimize or eliminate injury to pedestrians and passengers are an important part of future automotive safety regulations in the U.S.

“Europe is ahead of the U.S. in passive safety, particularly in pedestrian safety,” Raju says.

Expanding to the U.S.

While Altran could have located its center in several locations here in the U.S., the Detroit region’s dense population of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, robust global automotive leadership, and automotive engineering talent made Michigan the most attractive and smartest choice.

Altran clients, including OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, were seeking a local presence of expertise, and Altran recognized the market opportunity. The scouting process began in 2016, when the head of the Altran World Class Center in Graz, Austria met informally with members of the Destination Detroit team of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and asked some smart questions.

Detroit’s automotive reputation solidified Altran’s decision quickly. While it may make sense for startups to consider the west coast, every automotive resource has a presence in the Detroit region.

“Where is the best place to be for automotive? You always end up in the Detroit area,” says Wipfler. “Even west coast companies, most of them now have offices here. The Tier 1s are here. Everyone needs to be present in the Detroit area. That’s what we saw.”

When Altran was ready to focus in and select a location for its testing facility, it returned to the connection it had made with the Destination Detroit team.

“From our conversations, we learned Detroit is where they wanted to be. For automotive engineering and R&D, this is the hub, and the customers they were looking for and the leadership in the auto industry are all here,” says Will Butler, business development representative with the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Butler and his team took a deep dive and learned that Altran needed a site on a moderate parcel of land that could accommodate a 500-foot straight track for testing, and be enclosed by fencing to maintain client confidentiality. They researched dozens of locations, and brought on board a real estate expert to find just the right building, in an appropriate location, that could accommodate customization on a tight schedule.

“It was a little bit like a puzzle, and certainly an interesting challenge,” says Butler. “As economic developers, we want projects to be easy and quick, and we worked hard to help Altran find just what they needed. Speed to market is the name of the game.”

Support on the ground

Assuming the quarterback role, the Destination Detroit team kept the project on track and moving forward by tapping into a deep network of experts, including county and city departments that responded quickly and worked to provide approval for the site’s specific needs.

Ultimately, Altran’s successful expansion into the Detroit region--and into the United States-- was a collaborative effort between Destination Detroit, Oakland County, and the city of Wixom. Destination Detroit’s long standing experience in the needs of advanced automotive industries helped Altran meet its goals for growth.

“The people at Destination Detroit were very helpful all along,” says Raju. “Once we chose our building, it needed special approvals from the city of Wixom to be built to our needs, and the Detroit Regional Chamber helped us coordinate with the city to get the approvals.”

Now In operation with about eight employees in Wixom, Altran plans to grow to a staff of 25 within a couple of years.

“Altran has a very large global presence, but we are relatively new to the North American market. For us to get entry into this region as a service provider to any of the OEMs or Tier1s, we have to be ahead of the game, and better at something that not many other providers can offer,” says Raju. “One of our entry strategies was to bring in the World Class Center for Passive Safety in Detroit, and expand into offering each OEM all the other services we can provide. We have some of the best facilities in Europe, and this is a footprint for us to expand our offerings to the North American market.”

With mobility as a key area of expertise, Altran is poised to provide a diverse portfolio of services to its clients from its World Class Center in Wixom.

“We are working to focus on a combination of local delivery with Austrian expertise and Indian engineering capability to provide cost effective, highly skilled solutions in the area of passive safety to clients in the Detroit area, and across the U.S. in general," Raju says.

“Our strategy is to enter with a high level of expertise, drive cost efficiency, and engage for the long term.”

Visit Driven and learn how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.
 

Israeli manufacturer opens first U.S. office in Troy's Automation Alley

Excerpt

Eilor Magnetic Cores, an Israeli company that manufactures blocks and tape-wound magnetic cores, has opened its first location in the United States in Troy.

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Auto supplier Hella breaks ground for new Northville Township HQ

Excerpt

Automobile industry supplier Hella is relocating its North American headquarters to Northville Township, where it is also planning to expand its work force.

The German company, which develops, builds and markets lighting and electronic components for auto manufacturers and suppliers, recently broke ground for a 115,000-square-foot office and technical center on Technology Drive near Beck Road.

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Martinrea International opens new Auburn Hills facility

Excerpt

Martinrea International Inc. announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art facility in Auburn Hills. The 108,000 sq. ft. structure includes office and lab space for research and development, and houses 160 employees, according to a press release from the supplier.

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Denso in Southfield, Symbio collaborate on Finnish innovation center

Excerpt

Denso, an automotive component manufacturer with a North American headquarters in Southfield, today announced a plan to open a joint innovation center in Finland with software company Symbio.

The facility will be based in Symbio’s premises in Espoo and activities will begin this year following a letter of intent to establish the innovation center signed on Oct. 24.

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Stefanini announces office relocation in Southfield and opens its first innovation center in U.S.

Stefanini, a $1B global IT provider, moved its corporate office in Southfield to a new address: an open-space concept which is more aligned with Stefanini’s values.  The new office reflectsStefanini’s collaborative process and promotes open communication among different departments. In addition to being the headquarters for Stefanini North America and Asia-Pacific, the new Southfield office also boasts the first Innovation Center in the U.S. 

According to Spencer Gracias, CEO of Stefanini North America and Asia-Pacific, the inspiration for the new office was based on making innovation a priority. The company designed an open-space concept with furniture, lights and colors specifically chosen to stimulate creativity, communication and the exchange of new ideasthrough design thinking methodology. “We believe that investing in a more creative and innovative atmosphere is crucial to the environment,” said Mr. Gracias.

First Innovation Center in the U.S.
The innovative culture will be reinforced within the Global Innovation Center, which is located in the same facility. The Global Innovation Centers are part of a worldwide Stefanini initiative that has enabled the company the ability to embrace emerging technologies and industry standards using design thinking methodology. “Through the Innovation Centers, located inBrazil, Romania, Singapore and, now, in the United States, Stefanini is aiming to create value for its customers that earns their lifetime loyalty,” said Mr. Gracias.

In addition to benefiting employees, the new office will reinforce innovation within the community and embrace the company’s partners. “As a result, Stefanini is positioned strongly as a company that views innovation as a priority, enjoying all the benefits of new trends and providing solutions aligned with the specific business needs of its clients,” affirmed Mr. Gracias.
 
The new Stefanini Southfield office address is:
27100 West Eleven Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48034
All of Stefanini’s phone numbers and fax numbers will remain the same. 
_______________________________________________________________________
About Stefanini North America
For nearly two decades in the United States, Stefanini has been helping midsize, large and global enterprises increase the efficiency of their IT operations while also leveraging information technology to power their businesses. Our offers include efficient, cost-reducing and effective services (IT infrastructure outsourcing, end-user computing outsourcing, application management services and mainframe modernization). In addition, we offer business-empowering services (mobility, analytics, big data consulting, SAP consulting, SharePoint, portals and collaboration services).  

About Stefanini 
Created in 1987, Stefanini is a $1B global IT provider of business solutions with locations in 39 countries across the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia. With more than 22,000 employees, Stefanini provides onshore, offshore and nearshore IT services, including application development services, IT infrastructure outsourcing (help desk support and desktop services), systems integration, consulting and strategic staffing to Fortune 1000 enterprises around the world. The corporate global headquarters is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the European headquarters in Brussels and the North American headquarters in metropolitan Detroit.

Further information is available on the company’s website, www.stefanini.com.

BLM Group USA opens headquarters and tech center in Novi

Excerpt: 

BLM Group USA, a global manufacturer of tube and sheet metal processing equipment, today announced the opening of its new headquarters in Novi. The 75,000-square-foot facility features a 35,000-square-foot showroom and provides greater access for customers to explore BLM’s products, services, and technologies.

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Autoneum opens new North American headquarters and technical center in Novi

Excerpt: 

Novi-based acoustical consultant Autoneum today announced the opening of its new North American headquarters in Novi. The new Autoneum facility brings together research and development activities in the North American market with the management of the region’s business group.

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Maserati is headed to Auburn Hills offices

Excerpt

Maserati is planning to move its North American headquarters from New Jersey to the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills this year so it can be closer to its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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Futuris Group acquires Kongsberg Automotive's North American headrest business

Excerpt

Oak Park-based auto body supplier Futuris Group today announced it has completed the acquisition of Kongsberg Automotive’s North American headrest and armrest business, expanding their presence in Italy and the European market.

Futuris is a leading automotive tier 1 global JIT seating and interiors supplier with complete design, development, and production capabilities. The company has operations in the United States, Mexico, China, Thailand, and Australia, and overall it operates more than 25 facilities and employs 5,600 associates worldwide.

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Troy company aids development of UK energy storage plants

Excerpt

Troy-based chemical company LG Chem Power Inc. first began manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in 1998, and is one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers with a significant market share in consumer, automotive, and stationary applications. As energy companies around the world work towards increased energy savings, environmental responsibility, and sustainability, LG Chem Power has created a robust mass production system for their battery technology and now supplies cells to major international companies, becoming one of the world’s principal battery manufacturers across several industries.

Read more.

Valeo to grow in Auburn Hills, Troy, add 290 jobs

Excerpt

Valeo North America Inc. plans to create 290 jobs as it builds a low-speed test track and new building in Auburn Hills, and also improve its Troy headquarters, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said.

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Clayton & McKervey reveals new Mandarin website

Clayton & McKervey, an international accounting and business advisory firm servicing growth-driven middle-market companies, introduced a new Mandarin web site on January 13, 2017. Created by Ann Arbor-based Perich Advertising + Design, the site is designed for Chinese companies considering expansion to the United States.  

“We know that Chinese companies looking to invest in the United States will research professional service advisors. Our new web site, presented in Mandarin, makes the search process easier,” said Tim Hilligoss, Shareholder and China Practice Leader. “This new communication tool helps convey Clayton & McKervey’s commitment to the Chinese market; our years of hands-on experience, supportive international culture, and team of Mandarin-speaking accountants,” he said.

Clayton & McKervey’s Mandarin site (cn.claytonmckervey.com) is an extension of the firm’s English site introduced in May 2016. The firm also launched a German site in November 2016. These responsive sites were designed to connect with businesses seeking CPA firms with Clayton & McKervey’s depth of expertise with international markets and closely-held businesses.  

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a metro Detroit-based accounting and business advisory firm helping internationally-minded, growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com

Penske Automotive expands presence in United Kingdom

Excerpt

Penske Automotive Group, a Bloomfield Township-based international transportation services company, has announced an agreement today to acquire CarShop, one of the U.K.’s leading retailers of used vehicles, known for their fixed retail prices and transparent customer buying experience.

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Korean automation software developer opens new offices in Wixom

Excerpt

A new operation of SureSoft Technologies, Inc., a Seoul, Korea-based software automation testing tools company, has opened an office in Wixom.

Read more.
 
41 Global Oakland Articles | Page: | Show All
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