Senior Automotive Adviser to the State of Michigan
Senior Vice President, Automotive Industry Office
Nigel Francis is senior automotive adviser to the state of Michigan and senior vice president, Automotive Industry Office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Nigel is charged with developing, implementing and executing a comprehensive strategic plan and road map to promote, retain and grow the automotive industry in Michigan. He serves as the state’s central connection point for automotive industry stakeholders and engages with them to drive action that supports the industry and Michigan’s overall economic growth strategy.
Nigel comes to state government with 29 years of executive experience in the global automotive sector encompassing both technical and technology management in North America, Europe and Asia. He has worked with multinational senior management both at OEMs and Tier I suppliers. Nigel has a global awareness of startups, small, medium and large corporations, turnarounds, and mergers and acquisitions. With a record of successfully building and leading diverse cross functional teams across different continents, he is well versed in global business cultures and values collaboration at all levels. He has spent a majority of his career in advanced design and engineering product development and in recent years has been closely involved with clean tech through EV/HEV/PHEV vehicle development. Nigel has held executive level positions at OEM and Tier I companies in North America and Europe, including chief engineering and program management for Tata Technologies; COO and chief technology officer at Trexa LLC; executive vice president, Bright Automotive; vice president, vehicle engineering at Mercedes-Benz Technology, and several C-level positions in product development and technology.
Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Nigel has lived and worked in the U.S. since 1998. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2010 and currently resides in Clarkston, MI.
Nigel holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Brunel University in London, England. Professional affiliations include fellow, Institute of Mechanical Engineers of Great Britain; chartered engineer-Great Britain; and advisory board member to the University of Michigan's Michigan Mobility Transformation Center's (MTC) External Advisory Board and to Purdue University School of Engineering Technology.