Top Companies For Automotive Engineers
Automotive engineers tend to be highly passionate about their jobs, as most started their careers spending their free time modifying or repairing old petrol-powered cars, that often broke down if we’re being honest with each other. The automotive industry is moving rapidly towards a market where internal combustion engines are beginning to be actively phased out. Major cities around the world are placing ever more severe deadlines and penalties on vehicles that pollute the air. Vehicles are losing their complex, noisy and often dirty mechanical hearts and being replaced with simple, silent and clean electric motors.
What’s more is that these vehicles are being set up for autonomous operation, completely removing the driver from the equation. For the petrol heads among us this all seems very boring, you will no longer be the one piloting the machine and feeling the rumble of the engine as you drive on those long winding roads but rather just a passenger in a silent, very fast, super intelligent machine of the future. However, clinging to the past will not serve any purpose other than to make you irrelevant in this rapidly changing field. The list below aims to give some guidance on where you should aim your sights if you want to find an automotive job.
This is an obvious one. Tesla is continuously in the news for both good and bad reasons. The good being beautifully designed vehicles that look more like an Apple product than a car. The bad being missed production goals, questionable autonomous features and the oft borderline bizarre twitter antics of its visionary leader Elon Musk. Tesla set out with the goal of making electric cars mainstream and have in large part succeeded in achieving that, their cars now a familiar sight on the high street. Electric cars are definitely not a new technology, but they have long been in the shadow of internal combustion powered vehicles due in part to the limited energy storage capabilities of batteries. However, Tesla battery technology has progressed exponentially making these types of vehicles not only feasible but also relevant. Despite a few reports to the contrary, Tesla is known as a challenging, but also, rewarding place to work and offers a front row seat in the coming electric car revolution. The recent success of the model 3 and the upcoming Tesla truck and pick up truck, make working for Tesla very interesting indeed. Some of the advantages of working for Tesla are indicated below:
- Cutting edge technology on the leading edge of electrical and autonomous vehicles.
- Challenging work environment.
- Elon Musk has stated from the start that he wants to force the world into transitioning into a greener and cleaner future. Not many companies can boast such altruistic goals. At Tesla, you can truly feel that you are changing the world.
Tesla is no stranger to interesting projects. Some of the key ones are listed below:
- Tesla is taking a giant leap into the world of trucking with their Semi, it has been spotted around town during testing and if all the hype is to be believed it will take the trucking industry by storm.
- An all-electric pick-up truck is in the works by Tesla and is set to take the market by storm. Initial renderings of the pick-up look very interesting indeed.
- The final vehicle in Musk’s line up, the model Y, will be an SUV with a whole range of interesting features.
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2. General Motors
General Motors is part of the old guard. With classics like the 1969 C Chevrolet Camaro and the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, it has no doubt been the dream working place of many automotive engineers. GM is a massive player in industry and owns multiple brands. Their focus is still primarily on IC powered vehicles but they’re keeping their finger tightly on the pulse of electric vehicles with models such as the Chevy Bolt. Their disadvantage lies in the fact that they are too big to react quickly to a changing market as they have immense amounts of capital invested in their manufacturing processes and tooling. However, don’t despair, despite the coming EV revolution there will still remain a market for IC vehicles for many years to come. If your goal is to gain experience in a large, established company, then GM is a good start.
- General motors are a titan of industry and as such, promise a stable working environment as far as car companies go.
- Progressive gender inclusion initiatives.
- Moving gradually into the electric market, since companies that do not make a serious move into this space will be made irrelevant in a few decades.
General motors own many brands and each of these brands has some or other new technology under their sleeves. The only truly interesting project is the Bolt. The Chevy Bolt is the flagship EV vehicle from the GM line up, this vehicle is no tesla but gives an idea of the how the future of electric vehicles will look. The bolt seems like it will disappear in a crowd. A nice sensible vehicle.
Where GM was part of the old guard, Ford is the King of the castle. Henry Ford brought automobiles to the masses by making use of innovative manufacturing techniques that are still used today. They have come a long way since the model T with classics like the Ford Mustang. Ford has made a massive move to electric cars by investing 11 billion USD into their electric program and have committed to having 20 new electric cars on the market by 2023. Unfortunately, at their core, they are still a company that makes amongst other things, overpowered “gas guzzling” trucks such as the F150. It must be noted that Ford is turning these mean machines into clean machines with hybrid and all electric versions of this vehicle. So, if this is what you thrive on then Ford is the place to be. You also have relative job security as Ford is preparing itself for the surge in electric cars.
- Ford has been around since the beginning and has a certain prestige in industry.
- They have invested heavily in electric vehicles
- Ford is developing a driver assist system called Co-Pilot360, this system does not allow for completely autonomous driving but is rather designed to assist the driver with lane changes, emergency braking and lane keeping.
- Full electric and hybrid F150’s that will apparently not be short on power.
- Not much is known about Ford’s new “mustang inspired’ EV. This definitely sounds interesting but without the roar of an IC engine, there won’t be as much thrill involved. This vehicle is set to debut in 2020.
Toyota is known for its die-hard attitude, it just keeps rolling forward regardless of the torture it’s subjected to. The company’s reliability is legendary, and, having been around since 1937 it is now the largest automaker in the world. Toyota makes sensible vehicles that get the job done every time. If you want to learn the art of making vehicles that last, then Toyota might be where you want to take up residence.
- If its job security you’re looking for then you don’t get more stable than Toyota with their massive global reach.
- A huge range of vehicles and products make Toyota an interesting and fulfilling place to work.
- If you’re a die-hard IC fan then Toyota will take you to the cutting edge of this technology.
- This one is a bit of a long shot, but Toyota has recently patented a design for a flying car with pop out rotor blades. Now it must be noted that this is still just a patent and not a guarantee that Toyota will pursue the idea. It definitely sounds interesting though.
- Like all other major car companies, Toyota also has a horse in the EV race. This vehicle is called the iQ EV. A small compact EV for city driving.
This is a bit of a departure from the rest of the more sensible options mentioned above, but it would not be fair to leave out a company that most engineers could only dream of working for. If you follow F1 you will know that McLaren is one of the top teams in the competition. You might also know that they make some of the most beautiful vehicles currently on the market. Not only that, these cars are marvels of automotive engineering, crafted to incredible levels of performance and perfection. There will always be a market for IC vehicles as nothing compares to the deep rumble of a 4-litre twin-turbo V-8. It is any engineers' dream to work for a company that produces such perfection and continues to do so with an ever-increasing line up of amazing vehicles.
- If you have ever seen a McLaren then you will most likely understand that just being able to work on such an engineering marvel is a privilege all on its own.
- On the forefront of IC supercar design, testing and optimising.
- McLaren has an F1 team and working for their road car division just might give you a shot at joining their team as an engineer.
- McLaren is in itself an interesting project, as the vehicles designed and manufactured are incredible supercars.
- McLaren has a relatively large range of vehicles from the Speedtail all the way to the stunning P1, each of the vehicles in their range is a marvel of design and engineering.
Are you a fan of sleek and futuristic looking electric vehicles but don’t buy into the Tesla hype? If your answer was a resounding yes, then Fisker might be right up your alley. The chairman and CEO of Fisker has designed various top of the range vehicles in the luxury vehicle market. Despite only having two vehicle models in the pipeline, this company has a very real chance of growing in the market as EV vehicles become more prevalent.
- Fisker’s goal is to create a truly environmentally friendly vehicle. One feature, for example, is using reclaimed wood on the interior. If this aligns with your moral compass then this will be the ideal place for you.
- Fisker is currently going through a growth phase and there is an uptake in available positions at the company. If you want to be part of their journey - now is the time.
- Fisker has an ambitious luxury electric vehicle in the pipeline called the Emotion, it stands toe to toe with Tesla as it claims to include autonomous driving and a massive range of capabilities.
- The orbit shuttle is a very futuristic looking electric vehicle for the masses. It does not have a driver and is designed to shuttle people around cities taking the place of existing mass transit options.
What’s your destination?
As an engineer, there are many opportunities in the automotive industry. Furthermore, this is probably the most important era in vehicle design as there is a shift taking place in the way vehicles are powered, to the way they are driven. Electrically powered autonomous vehicles are the future of the industry. There are many small startups wanting to take on the big hitters, and this will result in many jobs becoming available. We are on the cusp of an evolution in mobility.
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