P3 Injects Dose of Silicon Valley Into Detroit

P3 North America President and CEO Samit Ghosh says the supplier will hire 100 new employees and plans to make an investment in “smart charging” for automotive.

James M. Amend, Senior Editor

April 21, 2016

3 Min Read
Vehicle workshop inside P3 North Americarsquos new Mobility Innovation Center
Vehicle workshop inside P3 North America’s new Mobility Innovation Center.

SOUTHFIELD, MI – Engineering services provider and consultant P3 North America opens the doors to its new Mobility Innovation Center, a Silicon Valley-inspired space in suburban Detroit focused on R&D in the booming sectors of automated driving, device connectivity, electromobility and telematics.

P3 North America President and CEO Samit Ghosh says here the 20-year-old unit, formerly located in a small office space just a few miles away, will hire 100 new employees to populate the 25,000-sq.-ft. (2,323-sq.-m) facility and other sites in the region. Ghosh also reveals P3 plans to make an investment in “smart charging” for automotive, pledging more details in the near future.

About 60% of the new hires will be for the MIC, while the remainder will add to P3’s current roster of 450 employees in the region. The jobs will be engineering and consulting positions, including systems and test engineers, connectivity specialists, automotive telematics management consultants and mobility and cybersecurity experts. P3 employs 3,200 engineers and consultants globally.

In addition to automotive technologies, the MIC here will provide OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with organizational and business processes expertise as the industry refashions its core business of designing and manufacturing vehicles to include alternative modes of transportation and mobility services.

Ghosh says “Silicon Valley meets Detroit” at the MIC to give P3 clients the tools they need to remain competitive as the automotive and technology industries converge.

“As a global leader in connectivity, autonomous driving and mobility solutions, P3 is a fundamental player in partnering with our clients to navigate these new and evolving technologies,” he says.

The MIC features a single-floor, modern and open layout without cubicles to encourage collaboration. Glassed meeting rooms enforce transparency. Ghosh says the facility’s design was meant to reflect the P3 culture, which emulates a Silicon Valley tech company with a flat hierarchy and focus on teamwork.

“We believe in open space and a network organization,” says Ghosh, who has led P3’s U.S. group since 2005. Prior to that, he served in executive roles at P3 in Canada and at the company’s global headquarters in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz R&D North America was one of P3’s first clients in the region and remains one of its biggest customers.

“I am the biggest fan of their business model and their culture,” says Judy Brunson, head of operations, Mercedes-Benz R&D-eDaPT Div. at Daimler.

Brunson says she worked closely with P3 on early Mercedes-Benz alternative propulsion strategies in the region and they continue to collaborate on future mobility.

Chris Berroni-Bird, vice president-strategic development at Qualcomm, a California telecommunications company making big inroads into the automotive space, testifies to P3’s capabilities at the open house.

“We’ve worked with P3 on several engagements,” Berroni-Bird says, citing as one example collaboration on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon automotive processors. “It’s been tremendous working with them, extremely positive.”

P3 latched onto the auto and tech industry convergence several years ago. Last year, the company grew 50% in North America on the strength of its new business offerings, Ghosh says. While the supplier has business interests around the world, it is especially bullish on North America because of the technological transformation occurring.

“There is a lot of growth happening in mobility around the world, but we felt this was the place to be,” Ghosh tells WardsAuto.

Although P3 works almost entirely with OEMs and larger suppliers, Ghosh says the company is “flexible enough” to take on smaller clients with breakthrough innovations.

In addition to its office spaces, the MIC boasts a 10-car vehicle workshop with prototyping capabilities. Multiple labs accommodate P3’s work on connectivity, automated driving, eMobility, cybersecurity, telematics and private customer testing and validation.

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