When GM announced it's intent to close its Mesa Arizona Proving Grounds after more than 70 years its effect was not solely on the employees. The Mesa Proving Ground enjoyed a long successful history supporting both internal and external customers alike. The market's leading heavy duty transmission manufacturer, for many decades had run schedules and had invested substantially in developing test routes and amassing data from correlation studies to assure test and validation results would be comparable. Relocation out of the area would have rendered much of the data invalid and the expense of test driver, technician and engineering staff would have been considerable, not to mention the lost human capital knowledge of those unwilling to relocate.
At the time of announcement we had a 20 year history with this client and a very close working relationship at all levels. Working together we came up with a solution which involved us establishing a build to suit facility in a location that would allow for continuation of the current test schedules and meet the parameters for continued vehicle and component build, re-build and re-configuration. Within weeks we had identified a site meeting those requirements and the TPG Southwest Test Center was opened and operating successfully in a matter of months.
The facility is a testament to what can be accomplished when two long time partner organizations accept a challenge, pool knowledge and collaborate to create a successful outcome, both in terms of capability as well as cost effectiveness.
The TPG Southwest Test Center has now been in operation 10 years. The capabilities of the facility and people are extensive. Simple maintenance allowing for hundreds of thousands of successful test miles to be safely completed yearly along side of complete reconfiguration of vehicles to reflect anticipated future product plans - all happening at a cost and time frame previously unattainable. The TPG Southwest Test Center has been host to other premier automotive, heavy duty truck, motorcycle and tire manufactures engaged in hot weather testing.
Change is good and, when the change includes Technical Professionals Group, the outcome is exceptional.
- We have the ability and the willingness to see change as an opportunity, not a problem
- We'll share the risk of making it happen
- We have the team to do it