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Lessons Learned from Future Automotive Leaders at the MRacing Unveiling Event

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Future of Automotive Leaders

Last week, I had the honor of attending an unveiling event at the University of Michigan as part of our new “Electrifying the Future of Automotive” program. If you’re not yet familiar, Perficient sponsors eight college race teams across the country that build single-seat formula-style vehicles from scratch to race nationally and internationally. These teams are a bit different than the typical college sports teams – instead of physical athletes, these students are world-class engineering intellects. I had a great time meeting these young adults on the MRacing team who are the future of automotive. 

Why do I call these students world-class intellects? First, many of them are mechanical engineers undergoing rigorous academic programs at their universities. Their participation on the Formula SAE team is an extracurricular activity. Despite the cognitive demand and time-consumption of their education, they pour endless hours into completing these vehicles for competition under strict deadlines. I’m thoroughly impressed by their passion, commitment, and their ability to stay successful inside and outside of the classroom. Needless to say, the average SAT score on this Michigan team is pretty high.   

Unveiling of the Vehicles

As we gathered for the unveiling of the vehicle, the students operated like a sports team with a team captain, directors for every major component of the vehicle, and even a business director. My favorite part was seeing how proud they were of their accomplishment, showing off the vehicle that they had worked hard on for six months. 

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I attended with a few of Perficient automotive teammates, and we were so excited to finally see the vehicle and look for our logo. We spoke to several members of MRacing, and they went into great detail about their process for building the vehicle as well as their individual goals. For some, their goal was to advance the cause for sustainable automotive technology, as they hoped their work would help in the widespread global adoption of EVs. Others enjoyed the challenge of innovating solutions for the automotive industry.  

Building a Business Plan

My discussions with these students confirmed their deep understanding of the technology and business outcomes. Their programs demand that they build business plans and think beyond the building and racing of the vehicles. More than anything, they are thinking about the future of automotive, and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of confidence and delight. We are in good hands. 

Perficient goes beyond being a global digital consultancy. Part of our core mission is to give back to our communities and invest in the future. This mission not only applies to our world-class digital transformation solutions for businesses but also for tomorrow’s leaders. I look forward to attending one of the races at Michigan Speedway in June, and I will be rooting for all these tremendous young people. Having seen only a glimpse of the potential last night, the future is very bright, indeed.  


If you’re interested in learning more about our “Electrifying the Future of Automotive” Program, read the news release. 

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Keith Tomatore

A long-time senior executive in the auto industry who has held the position of SVP, Retail Marketing at Global Team Blue (GTB, a WPP Company) on the Ford Retail Business. In this role, Keith worked with the Ford Dealer Associations across the country to help them with their Precision Marketing and digital efforts. Also, he served as CEO of iFrog Marketing Solutions, which focused on Automotive advertising solutions for Tier 2 and Tier 3.

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