Eric Mayne's Blog

The Brutal Reality

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I know now why the words "brutal" and "reality" often go together.

A "career outlook" seminar sponsored by the Engineering Society of Detroit lured me to a non-descript meeting room in Southfield, MI.

A few dozen automotive engineers had gathered there hoping -- desperately in some cases -- for a tip that would lead to a new opportunity.

Instead, they appeared to reach the painful conclusion that opportunity had passed them by.

Tom Thivierge, executive director-GM engineering and human resource management, addressed the group.

“How many people here are mechanical engineers?” he asks.

Most raise their hands, proud ambassadors of a noble profession.

“How many wish they were electrical engineers?” Thivierge adds.

The room falls silent, save for a few nervous chuckles.

But the message was clear.

This is a watershed moment in the storied history of the auto industry. The age of electrification is upon us.

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