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Another Electrifying Year for MRacing’s Formula SAE Season

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For the second year in a row, I spent an evening with my colleagues at the University of Michigan’s Ford Robotics Center in Ann Arbor to celebrate MRacing’s unveiling of this year’s EV. It did not disappoint – it was a beauty, designed with the look and feel of a Michigan football helmet, including the blue and maize figured prominently. I spoke to team members from all over the world, and I knew very quickly that these young men and women are the future leaders in engineering and robotics. They will be the ones who lead our great automotive industry into this new technological world.

One of the things I love most about working at Perficient is the passion to give back to our communities and support things that are way bigger than us. We are committed to not only serving our clients, but also serving the whole automotive industry. Last year, we sponsored eight schools around the country who were giving young automotive engineers the opportunity to build their own vehicles and compete all around the world. The program, named “Electrifying the Future of Automotive,” was so successful that, this year, we decided to not only continue but expand our program to include thirteen schools, some of which were international.

The University of Michigan is a fantastic school that is near to my home and place of work, so it was a no-brainer for me to revisit this year. There is nothing that fills my heart more than talking to these young folks on the University of Michigan Formula SAE team – they are all managing components of the vehicle and program, learning much more than just about the engineering of the vehicles. Each year, the team elects a captain as well as leaders for all the different areas of running the program and building the vehicle. More than anything, though, it is amazing to see how this program fosters their ability to function as a team. They are learning to work together without the silos and weight of industry history, which, at times, inflict the larger automotive industry. Rather, they see the endless possibilities of the future.

This unveiling is one of my favorite events to attend for the year. I love talking about the future of automotive with the people who will one day be leading the industry. For me, it is a chance to brainstorm about sustainability and customer experiences and recognize that, even with vastly more distractions around, automotive enthusiasm is still a massive cultural phenomenon.

As I was heading back to my car to drive home, I turned back for one last look at the Michigan team – a team of young people whose bright future and talents will take us very far. I felt an intense pride that the Perficient leadership is so supportive of our automotive practice and partnering with the universities who are participating in Formula SAE. We can support the future of automotive with more than just our innovative solutions to serve our clients. These thirteen sponsorships serve the future leaders, thinkers, and doers in the automotive industry and creating generational change.

A sustainable competitive advantage in the automotive industry starts with building a foundation for the future, and that’s the Perficient automotive speciality.

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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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