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Business students join industry professionals at auto show preview days

Monday, January 20, 2014
Business students join industry professionals at auto show preview days

In the global automotive industry, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is an important tradition. This year, three Oakland University business students got an exclusive opportunity to join thousands of industry professionals and journalist from around the world at the NAIAS industry preview days.

As special guests of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), three undergraduate business students, Josh Yasoni, Phil Johnson, Daniel Mahoney, along with Professor Janell Townsend, were invited to experience exclusive guided tours of the NAIAS with IHS Automotive.  Participants including Julie Fream, President and CEO of OESA, and other industry executives learned how future production vehicles and design concepts impact the supply base from a technology, procurement and global R&D perspective.

Top industry analysts from IHS Automotive, including vehicle and powertrain experts, led the 90-minute tour identifying strengths and weaknesses of OEM product strategies and platforms.  

Michael Robinet, Managing Director of IHS Global Insight’s Advisory Services, and one of the most well-known and respected industry authorities in the world, led Oakland University’s private tour. 

Although NAIAS was closed to the public, it was still fairly noisy, and wireless headphones were provided so the tour could be easily followed (Townsend is wearing one in the picture).

“This offered a truly unique opportunity for the students to engage in candid discussions about vehicles launched at the show and the business impact of technological change on the industry,” says Townsend. “Young industry professionals are often overwhelmed the first time they attend NAIAS as an analyst and industry participant, this opportunity gives these Oakland University students a step up when they enter the industry ranks.”

“The tour was excellent,” says Yasoni. “We highlighted the industry background of some of the key vehicles/concepts this year at the NAIAS, including the F-150, Mustang, Chrysler 200, Hyundai Genesis, and Toyota FT-1 Concept.  It was extremely beneficial as I want to work in the automotive industry. And it was a great experience because I've worked on many of these programs through my internship with Faurecia Automotive Seating.”

“We appreciate the opportunities and partnership with OESA,” Townsend adds. “OESA has been very proactive in supporting Oakland University students and faculty as participants in some of their most important events, like their annual Outlook Conference and their Town Hall’s with the auto manufacturers. “