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General Motors opens Mountain View office that will be a big tech hub


Mary Barra, General Motors chief executive officer, visits the automaker's Mountain View Technical Center innovation hub at 1330 Terra Bella Avenue in Mountain View.(George Avalos/Bay Area News Group) 5-15-2024, Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW — General Motors has launched a West Coast tech hub in Mountain View, an innovation center the company hopes will help the iconic automaker fend off increasingly fierce industry foes.

“We are growing in the Bay Area,” Mary Barra, General Motors’ chief executive officer, said during an event to formally kick off the innovation hub, which GM officially calls its Mountain View Technical Center.

Mary Barra, General Motors chief executive officer, visits the automaker’s Mountain View Technical Center innovation hub at 1330 Terra Bella Avenue in Mountain View. (George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)

About 200 General Motors employees work in the tech center at 1330 Terra Bella Avenue in Mountain View in a building that totals 50,000 square feet.

GM hopes that its new operation in Mountain View will help the automaker attract the talent it needs to entice as it crafts ways to bring heightened innovation to its vehicles, both gasoline-powered and electrical.

General Motors employees work in the automaker’s West Coast tech hub, an innovation center at 1330 Terra Bella Avenue in Mountain View. (George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)

“We have to have the very best people,” Barra said. “This is going to be a very central hub for us.”

As a reminder of the increasingly high-tech nature of the automotive industry, during the event, GM officials introduced executives whose prior jobs included key posts at high-flying tech companies such as Adobe and Dropbox.

GM executives argued that the Detroit-area roots of the automotive industry have nurtured decades of innovation, even if that tech know-how has been traditionally directed at the array of vehicle brands powered by internal combustion engines.

“Detroit is the original Silicon Valley of the world,” Baris Cetinok, GM’s president of product software & services, said during the event.

Vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, even deemed by some pundits to be tech centers — even entertainment and information centers — on wheels.

“This is a very interesting time to bring innovation to the car,” Cetinok said. “We want to reimagine how infotainment looks and feels.”

GM moved employees from other sites in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto to the new tech hub in Mountain View. The first employees arrived at the modern, hip-looking office building in early May.

Company officials emphasized during the event that GM must continue to innovate to keep an edge on its rivals in the automotive industry.

“Our vision is an all-electric future,” said Marissa West, president of General Motors North America.

Yet at the same time, GM is still bringing conventional vehicles to the market. West said GM will launch six internal combustion vehicles and six electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Equinox.

“We see a significant opportunity with the vehicles we are bringing to market this year,” West said.

General Motors has room for expansion at the new innovation center, although the company isn’t necessarily in a major push to hire workers beyond the 200 that are already working in the bustling innovation hub, tucked away on a quiet street in Mountain View a few miles from the Google headquarters.

“GM is really growing its presence its presence in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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