During the days set aside for Industry Preview before the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opens to the public, Yazaki invited the area's most promising engineering, business, and marketing students as well as current Yazaki co-ops to participate in their annual NAIAS program as a Student Liaison, representing the future face of the industry.
"Look around you. Do you know what you are?" asked David Scheffler, Chief Engineer in Yazaki's Core Component Engineering Group, during his welcome address to the students at NAIAS. "You are the future of the automotive industry."
The 32 students—representing 12 local universities— who participated in the program over the two days had full access everything NAIAS had to offer, including over 750 vehicles and countless interactive displays and special exhibitions.
"These students have the opportunity to see up-close the vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape," said Doug Burcicki, Chief Engineer in Engineering Operations.
Spending their day alongside a Yazaki mentor, the Student Liaisons received advanced access to the show vehicles to research and analyze future automotive technologies. Together the teams worked to examine automotive technologies as well as consumer and market trends. The Yazaki mentors helped the students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and how it is applied in the real world.
Not only is this program beneficial to the students, but is also provides Yazaki an opportunity to learn from the next generation.
"This is our chance to learn from the students, pick their brains and see what makes Millennials different," said Burcicki. "This is our chance to get a fresh perspective on the industry from those who are driving its future."