Visteon | General

Driving Innovation in Connected Infotainment 

By: Sivakumar Yeddanapudi

At Visteon, our global engineering, design and manufacturing teams are constantly striving to improve the cockpit user experience – making the car an intuitive, interactive and connected device on wheels.

This means delivering the same technology to drivers and passengers that they are used to enjoying on their smartphones and touchscreen tablets, while establishing safe parameters for drivers to navigate screens without excessive distraction. Cutting-edge solutions in the auto space are turning desirable functions into reality, with users increasingly able to “talk” to their vehicles and letting buttons “push” themselves.

At Visteon, we are challenging ourselves to contribute to this organic and evolving environment and make driving more engaging and exciting – providing the platform for every journey to be fun, convenient and safe.

We believe a high-performance infotainment system has the potential to fulfil our vision of connected driving. Currently, most in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems have a limited variety of apps that can be brought in from a phone – with usability constricted by small displays, disabled functionalities, and poor scaling of screen projection, contributing to a limited user experience. 

However, smartphones aren’t the adversaries of IVI systems. We see them as valuable assets that form the foundation of functional, capable and high-performance platforms that enhance the time we spend in our vehicles. We are taking what smartphone developers have achieved to the next level for automotive by boosting the convenience and level of choice that smartphones add to the driving experience and minimizing the risks they bring to everyday driving scenarios. 

Among a crowd of competitors racing to deliver the ultimate smart solution for the industry, Android has emerged and taken the high ground in automotive. Now geared with Visteon’s capable, customizable and efficient infotainment platform, Android systems possess enhanced versatility and flexibility – empowered to meet the needs of a wide range of in-car requirements.

Visteon’s platform-based Android-based infotainment system launched with Volkswagen Brazil operates on the latest version of Android OS, carries a huge collection of downloadable apps and in-car voice assistant, and can be extended to any display size and cockpit complexity.

The system carries a broad variety of our favorite apps, including Spotify and Waze. The selection also caters to regional preferences, with Brazil-based apps available to local consumers. When launched in global regions, consumers will be able to download a different, tailored selection of apps from their local platform.

When it comes to contemporary IVI systems, Visteon doesn’t just add Android apps to the platform. We refine, scale and adapt standard Android apps for in-vehicle use. Optimizing the interface for every app to prevent distorted scale or low-resolution visuals, Visteon enables most functionalities to be accessed through both soft keys and steering wheel buttons. This helps users more safely interact with the apps while keeping their eyes on the road. Visteon’s infotainment system provides a truly immersive experience and an appealing interface similar to the latest Android smartphones.

Our new infotainment system supports complete customization with limited software development – fully scalable from entry-level audio infotainment to the most advanced multi-display cockpit domain controller. Customers have the ability to keep the system appearance consistent across different models, but still differentiates them from one another simply by changing fonts, scaling dimensions and adjusting UI colors. One chipset provides limitless variations.

Visteon also extends the personalization experience to consumers, who can set their own skins and adopt their own in-car preferences through other customizable features. Even if a vehicle has multiple profiles, the system can store and switch to different displays to cater to whichever particular user hops into the driver’s seat.

While we constantly strive to improve the in-car experience with upgrades and updates to the infotainment system, we are also challenging ourselves to lower production cost, which will allow this innovative technology to be more widely available on the mass market.

Finally, another capability guaranteed to improve the driving experience is our Say ‘N Serve voice assistant. Working seamlessly in tandem with popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, Say ‘N Serve arbitrates effortlessly between different platforms. It’s designed to detect a human voice in a noisy car environment and process it within multi-intent and multi-level context. It can understand various accents, languages and even speakers. With the help of Say ‘N Serve, drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and let the virtual assistant perform tasks.

Visteon’s calendar for the next two years is marked with Android infotainment launches across the world. As we continue to improve and perfect the system, we hope to upgrade your driving experience, taking significant strides toward the kind of smart driving we promised and the industry projects for the future.

Sivakumar Yeddanapudi is a platform leader managing Visteon’s global infotainment programs. He also develops IVI platforms that incorporate the latest technologies such as advanced HTML5 HMI frameworks, web browsers, cybersecurity, reflash over-the-air and vision processing for cockpit electronics. He has more than 15 years of automotive experience and served as software developer, technical professional for audio and infotainment software, and now as platform leader, located at Visteon’s headquarters in Van Buren Township, Mich., U.S. 

Visteon Career Profile: Kris Doyle, Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations

By: Elaine Zhu

Kristopher Doyle joined Visteon in 2018, and is vice president, treasurer and head of investor relations. He is mainly responsible for communicating with the investment community and developing long-term strategic insights. Doyle believes that transparency and honesty is the golden rule in managing investor relations. Last year, he was recognized in the “40 under 40” program by the National Investor Relations Institute.


What is your day-to-day life like at Visteon?

As the head of IR, I define and communicate Visteon’s value proposition to the investment community while providing insight to our leadership team on market trends and key developments. Although there are no typical days in this role, I do spend a lot of my time speaking with investors, reading research materials and interacting with business leaders throughout our organization.   

What is the coolest thing about working at Visteon?

The automotive industry is changing rapidly, with vehicles becoming more connected and digital. This has created a great opportunity for Visteon, a pure play cockpit electronics company developing innovative products aligned with these secular trends. I think it makes working at Visteon extremely exciting.


What do you love the most about the culture at Visteon?

The willingness of individuals to teach. As someone coming from outside of the auto industry, I am fortunate to join an organization dedicated to educating its employees. This starts from the top as I frequently find myself asking questions to senior leaders who are keen on explaining the complexities of this industry and the nuances associated with cockpit electronics.


What advice would you give to someone considering working at Visteon?

I think Visteon is building an exciting product line to evolve the future cockpit, and it has been an adventurous and eye-opening experience to be part of the team. I would suggest you come in with a forward-looking mindset with the desire to learn and grow your career.


What would you say it takes to be successful with investor relations in the car industry?

Transparency and insight. Investor relations is a two way communication role where I provide insights for both external investors and internal management team. In difficult times like today, it is crucial to communicate to our investors with honesty and transparency, and it is also important to share industry developments and the investment community’s insights with our executive team. 


What is your proudest moment/achievement at Visteon?

Visteon has been going through a major transformation over the last few years, as we transition our product line to digital and connected solutions such as clusters, infotainment and displays. I am proud to be part of the team that interacts with investors to articulate our transformation vision and provide updates as we continue to make progress on next-generation product launches. 

This Week in Tech: Infotainment, the Road Ahead

By: Shripriya Subramanian

This Week in Tech is a monthly flagship webinar session hosted by the Visteon India Career Code Team and namesake of its podcast.

The first session of the webinar, titled “Infotainment, the road ahead,” was held on April 30, and included guests Rahul Singh and Binoy M.V. from the infotainment platform team with Shripriya Subramanian from communications as the moderator. The webinar was a discussion of the future of Android-based infotainment, its roadmap and the associated challenges.

The conversational format of the webinar, coupled with the spontaneous response from the guests, made this sixty-minute show worth listening to.

Here are some highlights from the conversation:

Shripriya: Hello Rahul and Binoy. So, how’s it going? How are you and your team coping with the lockdown, and more importantly, how are you keeping your teams motivated?

Binoy: We are doing well. Business continuity is our top priority. Our team is spread across India, the United States, Brazil and Germany. We have stood up to the challenge, and almost all of us are working from home now. We have moved hardware (wherever possible), creating small home-office environments. All of us are getting used to the new normal and are going above and beyond to ensure there is no lag in deliverables.

Rahul: The style of communication has changed. We are a more virtually connected team now – we hone our technical acumen, creativity, and team spirit over Microsoft Teams! We still have those debates and crazy discussions. Nothing much has changed, and we are delivering our best from wherever we are.

Shripriya: Why does the industry feel the need for Android?

Rahul: That is a good question. If we take a sneak peek into industry trends, we’ll see that major OEMs are already collaborating with Google.

So, what magic does Android really bring? You can explain it in many ways. First, Android is one ecosystem that brings almost a million plus applications. Second, Android is completely open source. You can modify anything and everything in Android depending on your needs. Third, Android has the world’s largest developer community. These highlights make Android the preferred operating system for automotive.

Another trend to note is that most auto manufacturers have shrunk their product development timelines from 48 months to well under two years. Android enables rapid product development – something the industry needs.

Binoy: Success of the platform also depends on how efficiently you are able to bring in the best possible user experience, and how attractive is the platform for the developer community. Android fits the bill perfectly.

Shripriya: What are some of the compelling future use cases that your team is developing?

Rahul: There are so many consumer-centric and innovative use cases we are working on. I can talk at length. We are focusing a lot on virtual reality (VR). Voice is our top priority. Screens are getting bigger but hands are not. Therefore, voice takes the center stage when creating the best possible in-car experience.

We are focusing on personalization too. Today, the consumer wants to buy a car with a pinch of personalized features. In the near future, seating and steering wheel position, and ambient lighting based on user profile, will become a norm.

Have you heard about “continue where you left off”? It is jargon mainly used in the smartphone and the tablet industry. You could be reading a book on your mobile phone, then switch to the same page of the same book on your tablet. Can we create the same experience with your in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) or rear seat entertainment (RSE)? We are working on some of these features, and you will soon be seeing them in a car around you.

We talk about context awareness. SoLoMo is another technology or jargon used in the smartphone industry. Think about this scenario: Your car tells you there is a shop that is giving you a discount based on your current location. The car further assists by navigating you to the shop. How cool would that experience be? We are bringing together simultaneous localization and mapping, advertisements, gaming and much more. You open up a large number of different use cases when you integrate the right operating system (OS) with the right hardware and feature set. This is going to be the next are of explosive growth.

We are also integrating our infotainment solutions with the internet of things (IoT), and it is catching on fast. We have had many lengthy discussions about teaming up with third-party technology solutions and enabling sensors on the vehicle steering. Your car will be able to detect your health status and, if you are not feeling well, will book a doctor’s appointment for you while you drive. By the time, you reach your office, your medications are on their way. The future is limitless!

Binoy: Adding to what Rahul highlighted, we are also working on multi-display solutions. These displays can be driven by a single Android system. Currently, most of the systems we are developing are based on Android P. Android P has a limitation though – two displays cannot run two different applications.

However, in Android 10, there is a feature called multiple launcher, multi-resume. It can independently operate two applications in two displays. In this way, Google supports the use cases of the automotive industry.

At CES 2020, we displayed a solution with five displays – instrument cluster, passenger display, center information display and two rear-seat entertainment displays. All these were driven by a single Android operating system.

Shripriya: Why user experience (UX) is so important?

Binoy: Consumers don’t just want to buy a car, they want “their car” with something special in it. In various mobile devices, such as those from Samsung or Oppo, the user interface (UI) is pretty similar. However, when it comes to automotive, the HMI or UI is a big branding factor for the automakers. In fact, it defines their DNA. Most automakers want to bring in a differentiating UI, and they want to ensure that the UI is updated frequently during the vehicle lifecycle.

Rahul: Irrespective of the life cycle, we can provide fresh content to the user. For example, on Christmas Eve, you can color your entire user experience in red, and on all the other days, you can make it black.

Rahul Singh has extensive experience in designing and developing immersive experiences on mobile, connected digital products like IoT, voice over internet protocol (VOIP), point of sale (POS) and automotive infotainment. Currently he is a software developer, reviewer, tester, principal architect and the product manager for Android platform core software development at Visteon.

Binoy M.V. is an experienced Technical Professional in human-machine interface (HMI) and graphics with 17 years of experience working in the embedded industry. He has experience developing embedded products such as mobile devices, digital TVs, automotive infotainment and instrument clusters. He has been a key player in HMI and graphics for Visteon platforms including Einstein 2, 2.5 and 3, OpenAir I1.1, Phoenix 1.0 and now Infocore Android.

Returning to Work in the New COVID-19 World

By Amanda Bishop, head of Visteon’s Coronavirus Task Force

This past New Year’s Eve, as I thought about my hopes for 2020, the words “social distancing,” “quarantine” and “flattening the curve” never once entered my mind. Then, in February, I was invited to a late-afternoon meeting where all of that changed.

Over the past two months, the word “coronavirus,” or COVID-19, has changed every aspect of my life – the way I work, how I interact with my friends and colleagues, and how (or if) I’m allowed to leave my house. It is part of almost every conversation with every person I know.

My life went from rushing my family out the door daily to trying to find quiet places for everyone to work and learn. My two girls are now very proficient in online Zoom classes, and sneak in way too much Minecraft and TV time as they long to play with their friends. They know mom is always on calls discussing coronavirus, given my daily meetings with our global teams to help keep our executive committee updated on our response and progress. 

I lead Visteon’s Coronavirus Task Force, which is a group of tremendous professionals from each of our global facilities. This team works with speed and diligence as we race to respond to the rapid spread of the virus in almost every country where we operate. Within days, we pivoted most of our professional workforce to a work-from-home model, and made decisive decisions regarding our manufacturing operations – all as local conditions were constantly changing around them. A job very well done.

We can all expect a safe but very different workplace once on-site operations resume. Our task force has worked relentlessly to develop Visteon’s Global COVID-19 Return-to-Work Protocol, aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and other regional guidelines. Our return-to-work protocols ensure consistent hygiene practices and new social-distancing requirements to minimize person-to-person contact. Changes in personal health assessments, required personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning protocols will help us with a safe transition. Because each facility is unique, additional site-specific return-to-work plans are being implemented to ensure compliance with local regulations and practices.

As we adjust to reengaging with friends and colleagues, it is critical that we are sensitive to the individual concerns of employees wanting to protect themselves. Leaders at all levels of our organization will guide their teams through these new working conditions and lead by example to help safeguard our 11,000 employees. 

In the spirit of collaboration, and for the greater good of society, we are publicly sharing Visteon’s Global COVID-19 Return-to-Work Protocol with our customers, suppliers, partners and others in the industry so everybody can benefit from our learning.

My hope is that when my girls remember the pandemic of 2020, they will not recall the disappointment of missed parties, my panic when the internet went down, or having to eat at home far too many days in a row.  I hope they realize instead that for a short time in history, the entire world came together to fight a common enemy, COVID-19, and that the collective sacrifices of so many truly helped “flatten the curve” and save precious lives. 

Customizing Your Vehicle Takes on New Meaning

Jan. 8, 2020

By: Visteon Corporation

In this day and age, users can craft and customize their own digital experience in almost every consumer electronics offering on the market. They can update their phone backgrounds and app configurations. They can customize their tablets and laptops. There is even a TV on the market that can look like a painting on your wall while it’s not in use, and if the user gets tired of that painting, they choose another image!

Why hasn’t the trend of digital customization carried over more fully to vehicles? That’s what Visteon’s design team was wondering too – so they challenged themselves to solve this nagging question.

They more than met the challenge.

The highly skilled Visteon design team is unveiling a customizable Graphical User Interface (GUI) at CES 2020. This revolutionary concept will allow the consumer to choose what they want their instrument cluster and infotainment systems to look like in their future vehicles.

From the shape of the gauges to the color scheme and contents, the consumer will finally be at the wheel of many of their vehicle’s digital interfaces.

Not only does this concept appeal to the driver, but also to automakers around the world. The market has already seen an increased demand for customizable adaptations in drive modes and regional considerations.

Visteon’s programmable user interface (UI) approach allows for the adaptation of the UI through a process, known as parametrization, and programming, rather than your standard asset-based “skin” development. This enables dynamic changes during development, allowing automakers to craft unique options for the users as a starting point, while allowing the end-consumer to have the autonomy to customize their own experience.

“We are very excited to finally share this innovation with the world at CES 2020,” commented Chris Gattis, industrial design leader for Visteon. “Those who visit Visteon’s booth will be able to test it out themselves with our interactive HMI station. Our guests will be able to design and customize their in-vehicle digital experience for the first time.”

“Besides the advantage to the user, we are eager to show automakers the benefits to their business,” Gattis added. “They will be able to gain valuable customer preference information and reduce the time and effort needed to develop additional assets for mid-cycle adjustments.”

Visteon customers and other interested stakeholders can request an appointment to experience the HMI station and see how Visteon is driving the cockpit revolution at CES 2020 in Central Plaza site 13. Learn more about what Visteon is showing by following us on social media.

The cockpit revolution: A driving force behind the next-generation automotive experience

By Visteon Corporation

Cockpit trends and safety requirements are creating new challenges and opportunities for in-vehicle electronics. To address these trends, Visteon is driving the cockpit revolution through all-digital, integrated solutions that help automakers connect exterior sensing and the interior experience – taking safety and the user experience to the next level.

As the only automotive supplier exclusively focused on the development and deployment of cockpit electronics, Visteon will be showcasing our revolutionary cockpit products to address these challenges at CES® 2020 in Las Vegas.

The Evolution of the Automotive Cockpit

Not long ago, the automotive cockpit was a fragmented collection of proprietary systems, put together essentially as an afterthought. Recently, instrument clusters have evolved into a digital driver information domain that not only can display vehicle diagnostic and driver information, but also can integrate next-generation visual ADAS HMIs for real-time critical decision-making.

Changing Requirements, New Technologies

Simultaneously, there’s a relentless demand from consumers to have the same level of cloud connectivity experience and access to smartphone content on the fly. As a result, we continue to see the fast emergence and adaptation of cell phone projection technology within infotainment.

Penetration of digital technology in the cockpit and evolution of Moore’s Law has made domain integration possible. As a result, an integrated digital cockpit can now be realized. This will allow inter-domain communication as well as the addition of newer domains, such as informational ADAS, driver monitoring and use of artificial intelligence, to elevate the user experience.

New cockpit requirements have fundamentally altered automotive display products from poke-through displays to complex, curved multi-display dashboards. The emergence of new use cases, such as camera integration and next-generation graphics, continues to push automotive display performance demand.

Automaker Challenges

Development of in-vehicle displays is a challenging process, requiring automotive-centric development and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. Automotive displays must remain highly visible in ever-changing lighting conditions, tolerate harsh weather conditions and withstand the rigorous automotive life cycle. To address these performance requirements, automotive displays need to deliver contrast that is at least 10 times better than LCD displays, while also addressing the poor brightness and limited operating life typically associated with OLED displays. Power consumption and cost continue to pose additional challenges to display industrialization.

Visteon’s Solutions

At CES, Visteon will showcase a range of technology solutions designed to enhance safety and the driving experience by enabling the transformation of cockpits to all-digital environments. 

We continue to demonstrate our leadership in cockpit electronics products, and our A-sample ready demos will focus on four core areas:

To learn more, automakers and members of the media are welcome to explore our booth, located in Central Plaza, Pavilion 13. This is Visteon’s 21st year as an exhibitor, making it one of the longest-running show participants in the automotive industry.

Celebrating National Coming Out Day

By Kelvin Elvidge, Advanced Quality Engineer, Health and Safety

Your heart rate goes up. You begin to sweat and your hands get cold and clammy. Then you feel nauseous and strangely out of place. You’re in a staff meeting and your manager has just announced that there will be a holiday party Saturday night for all department employees and their significant others.  

Your coworkers have heard you mention the name Kelly several times, but you’ve never explained that Kelly was a guy, not a girl. I guess it’s one of the advantages of having a significant other whose name can be either gender. 

But now you have to figure out how to best handle this. Walking in and surprising everyone with the fact that you have a same-sex partner, just to see jaws drop, may not be the best scenario. Not going or making up a lame excuse to miss the party also doesn’t seem appropriate. So in your next 1-on-1 meeting with your manager, you let him know that Kelly is a guy, not a girl. 

This is how coming out at work went for me. It was stressful and daunting at the time, but I’ve come a long way since then.

Today, I am president of Straight Allies and Gay Employees (SAGE), a Visteon employee resource group. And today, on National Coming Out Day, I’m not just “out,” but I’m educating my fellow employees on what it is to be LGBTQ in the workforce.             

For the first time in Visteon history, we will be raising a pride flag outside our world headquarters in Van Buren Township, Michigan. By flying the pride flag, we’re going beyond an equal employment policy and showing employees that we have an inclusive and supportive workplace. We’re showing employees that they don’t have to hide their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression at work.  

There is never a right way, right time or right place that works for everyone to come out at work. Every situation is unique, and you’re the best judge of your office dynamic. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that you deserve equal treatment and respect, no matter what.

When I arrived at that holiday party with Kelly, we fit right in. I consciously didn’t swear my boss to secrecy, figuring the news would travel from there. It did. Part of me felt as if I’d been forced to come out, but in some ways it was a relief that my coworkers knew.

When you do come out at work, it’s important that you’re surrounded by people who accept you for who you are and who will support you. That’s what I’ve found at Visteon.

Looking for a way to give back on National Coming Out Day, or any day for that matter?

Consider supporting the Ruth Ellis Center with you time or through a monetary donation. This organization strives to serve young LGBTQ persons in the Metro Detroit area. For more information,


Giving Back to the Community with Life Remodeled

Recently, I had the honor of joining my fellow Visteon employees, and some of their families and friends, for a half day of community service with Life Remodeled – a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that invests about $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood each year.

Visteon employees like me have been participating in Life Remodeled since its inception in 2014, and the company has contributed $29,000 to this effort since 2015. This year, we joined more than 10,000 volunteers clearing virtually every blighted alleyway within a four-mile area surrounding the Durfee Innovation Society.

Before: Alley filled with trash and overgrown brush

After: Part of the Visteon team poses with the alley they worked to clear, creating a safe pathway

When 10,000 people roll up their sleeves and work toward the same goal, you see some serious impact. The improvements made through Life Remodeled are credited with significantly reducing crime in targeted communities in virtually every category, while creating workforce development and employment opportunities.

What makes us come back year after year?

I’m not generally a big fan of picking up other people’s trash and I don’t like bugs. I’ve never mowed a lawn in my life. But what I love about working with Life Remodeled is this: What we often find divides us – race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or who we voted for in the last election – all lose their significance as we work together. We are united by our desire to make positive change in the community.

Ray Foster works in our lab. He grew up in the neighborhood and attended Durfee Middle School, which is now the Durfee Innovation Society – a dynamic space for the best and brightest nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies to move in, share resources and achieve greater collective impact. He shares stories of the days when this was a vibrant, thriving community. Ray participates in Life Remodeled with the hope those days will soon return.

Jim Zachar in accounting participates in Life Remodeled with his wife every year, and has been a primary organizer of the Visteon volunteer team. He’s driven by his faith and spends additional personal time volunteering. As he was dripping with sweat from head to toe after ripping out vines and cutting down shrubs in the alley, I chuckled and told him he’d be feeling the aches and pains in the morning.

I think Jim’s response to me said it best. He gave me a smile and said, “It is not easy, but the feeling you have in your heart when you’re done is worth every ache and pain. We get a lot more than we give.”

Amna Kamal is a communications manager at Visteon. She develops and executes strategic communications for the Americas and for various functional groups and initiatives. She oversees the website and social media activities, and is often heard saying, “Wait, let me take a quick picture of this for social!”

Amna has a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton. She volunteers for Scouts BSA, the Detroit Fasting 5K, Tyler Reading Program and Children’s Hospital of Michigan Bingo, and is a member of the board of directors at Crescent Academy International. In her free time, she sleeps.

Visteon Leadership and Technology Take Center Stage at the 2019 Ludwigsburg Automobil-Elektronik Kongress

The International Automotive Electronics Congress in Ludwigsburg is convening for the 23rd year on June 25 and 26, bringing together the best and brightest thought leaders to discuss current trends in the industry. Visteon’s presence will be hard to miss with President and CEO Sachin Lawande delivering a keynote address on day two, and our expertly staffed booth showcasing the latest autonomous driving technology. If that doesn’t whet the appetite of attendees, a Visteon-sponsored ice cream station at the main floor entrance will bring new meaning to “cool technology.”  

In his presentation at 9 a.m. CET on June 26, Lawande will provide unique insight into a centralized computing solution that is fully scalable to Level 2-5 autonomous driving. In fact, Visteon’s main message throughout the conference is that architecting a centralized, scalable, and modular platform like DriveCoreTM is essential for failsafe Level 2+ autonomous driving and early consumer and infrastructure adoption.

Interested in learning more about our approach to autonomous driving? Check out the video below and bring your questions to our team at Booth 33 on the second level at the Forum am Schlosspark. Or, use your phone to scan the QR code on your complimentary ice cream to see where it takes you.

Behind the scenes: From intern to professional

By: Visteon Corporation

June 4, 2019

Engineers are essential to Visteon’s business — that’s a simple fact. Without engineers we’d have no products or technologies. However, other employees and functions work vigorously behind the scenes to make Visteon an attractive place to work. One of those employees is HR Generalist Christian Potvin.

Potvin, a recent graduate of Michigan State University and a former intern himself, has made his mark leading the internship program at Visteon’s headquarters and innovation center in Van Buren Township, Michigan. He recently shared his thoughts on the transition from intern to professional, as well as how working in a technical field as a non-engineer can be both exciting and rewarding.

What initially brought you to Visteon, and what led you to accept a full-time position here after graduation?

Visteon had been sending internship postings to the Michigan State HR Master’s program, and my mentor passed along the posting to me. I had a great interview that eventually led me to get the internship position. I chose a Visteon internship because, in the interview, they specified that I would act as the HR business partner for the intern population. I love working in teams and wanted to improve my leadership and project management skills, so I thought running the program as an intern myself would be a perfect fit.

I worked with Visteon as an intern up until graduation in December 2018. I was then asked to join the Visteon team full-time as an HR generalist. I chose Visteon over other offers because I loved the opportunities that awaited me. I can work in an environment where free thinking is encouraged, and I can design and implement real policies, programs and procedures that HR uses daily. The community of diverse, professional and talented people made my decision to accept the offer a no-brainer.

How was the mentorship while you were an intern at Visteon? Do you feel like it prepared you for your role now?

The mentorship I received in the HR department at Visteon was pivotal to my success and ability to be hired full-time anywhere. One of the most important lessons I learned here was how to be my own leader, think critically, and not be afraid to make decisions.

One of the most impactful mentors I had told me some advice I will never forget. She said, “In a fast-paced environment like Visteon, you have to be proactive. You have to be comfortable making a decision quickly where you won’t always be able to ask others for advice. The important thing is that you think critically, come to your decision, and can explain why you made that decision.” This has dramatically impacted my career in numerous ways and helped me be more confident in feeling I was no longer just an intern, but a member of the Visteon team.

You’re now running an intern program for Visteon. What’s it like running the program you were once a part of?

I had significant responsibilities for the intern program over the past two summers, but now being the primary contact for all of the interns here at Grace Lake Corporate Center is very exciting. It’s surreal that just seven months ago, I was technically an intern, and now I am running the entire program. Combining my recent experience and the experiences of the other interns in former programs gave me insight as to what types of skills will be beneficial to these young professionals’ growth. An excellent intern program will always be about the students in it and about preparing them for professional opportunities here at Visteon, or even another company. These students will carry the experiences and skills they learn with them for the rest of their professional career, and we want them to look back at their internship at Visteon in a positive light.

What do you think makes an excellent intern experience?

A tremendous intern experience consists of constant communication and collaboration with peers, other employees, and managers. By doing so, interns can learn new concepts and discover how to apply what they’ve learned in school to the real world. The unique thing about our intern experience is that we are not just a shadowing program; we put our interns to work. The code they are writing, the processes they are developing, and the overall work they’re completing are all contributing to Visteon’s success. As a Visteon intern, you get to be a part of a dynamic team setting and provide your input on real-life projects.

What’s it like working in HR at a technology company?

I love working in a technical environment, and working with engineers is one of my favorite parts of the job. Understanding how people in technical professions think allows me to expand my own thinking and improve processes within my personal areas of expertise. Here at Visteon, we have an expansive, diverse group of individuals, with varying levels of expertise. This collaborative, fast-paced environment has been pivotal to my development as a young professional.

Would you suggest young professionals coming out of college get into the automotive industry?

Certainly! The fast-paced nature is both exciting and rewarding for young professionals. I have seen so much growth since my start as an intern, and I can attribute that growth to my managers who were veterans of the automotive industry and my peer group of driven interns whom I worked with throughout the years. I now have much better decision making, leadership, and project management capabilities that I would have a hard time getting at another company in this stage of my career.