P3 Opens Mobility Innovation Center in Michigan

April 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

P3 Group GmbH, an engineering services, research and development, testing and consulting specialist, officially opened its new Mobility Innovation Center this week in Southfield, Mich.

The-25,000 sq-ft facility, which also serves as its North American headquarters, replaces a much smaller office the company had in Troy, Mich. The 20-year-old Aachen, Germany-based company launched its U.S. operations in 2005.

P3 now employs 450 people in North America and is in the process of hiring 100 more engineers and technical specialists in the region. The Southfield site will account for about 60% of the new hires, which will increase the staff there to nearly 200 people.

The center will focus on advanced r&d programs for carmakers and suppliers related to autonomous vehicle technologies, connectivity, cybersecurity, new mobility and telematics systems. It also will provide organizational support for clients, including business and strategy analytics, supplier management, transitions to new software systems and end-to-end product development and program management capabilities.

The Southfield center features an open layout, which P3 says is designed to encourage collaboration. Samit Ghosh, who heads P3's automotive business in North America, likens the approach to that of a Silicon Valley tech company with a flat hierarchy and focus on teamwork.

The new building also includes a workshop with prototyping capabilities that can accommodate 10 vehicles, private customer testing and validation areas and a variety of other development labs.

Ghosh says P3’s North American sales jumped 50% last year. He predicts another 25%-30% hike this year on the strength of existing products and services, including a new “smart charging” program for electrified vehicles. The company prefers to grow organically, he notes, rather than through acquisitions.

Mercedes-Benz R&D North America was one of P3’s first clients in the region and remains one of its largest customers. The company also has worked closely with telecommunications giant Qualcomm on several projects, including the infotainment system of a concept vehicle introduced earlier this year at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas.

About one-third of P3’s global business is related to the auto industry, which is the company’s second-largest sector after aerospace. The company also works with the telecommunications and energy industries.