Matt Briden of Battle Creek: Whatever You Do, Do It Your Best

Matt Briden
Vice President  
Business Planning, North America Thermal Group  

Matt began his career on the production floor at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC), supporting the launch of the first Lexus ever built outside of Japan (Lexus RX). In total, he spent 10 years at TMMC as team member, team leader, and cost management specialist. In 2010, he was hired by Blackberry to build a cost planning function to support their global smartphone business. He returned to automotive in 2013, joining DENSO’s Guelph, Ontario, manufacturing facility as a Business Planning Manager.

After 1 year, he accepted an expatriate assignment at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, and never looked back. He has now been in Michigan for over 9 years and calls it home. He serves as Vice President of Business Planning for DENSO’s North America Thermal Business Group.  

Business Planning 

The Business Planning Group establishes strategic business plans, while promoting cost and product planning to improve North America Thermal operations and maximize performance. As vice president, Matt oversees profit planning, cost planning and corporate planning functions for the Thermal Business Group in North America.  

Trust & Reliability 

The automotive industry is shifting gears. I expect the environment will become even more disrupted through the collision of technology and automotive sectors in the mobility space. We will continue to incorporate more advanced technologies into our products, adopt them in an accelerated manner, and begin to change more frequently. To ensure the vitality of our company, and advance our Two Great Causes, we need to realize a new way of working and embrace new challenges. No one can do this alone – we need one another. Trust and reliability become the cornerstones of that. I believe the foundation of building trust is by doing our best in all that we do. Whatever it is we need to do, if we choose to do it to the best of our ability, it will have a positive impact on us, those around us, and our environment.  

Having worked in the tech space, I have seen first-hand how industry disruption can make or break a company. We need to be open and willing to adapt to change, quickly, and together. Just think about it – as a society, we could not have gotten to where we are today without working together, leaning on each of our strengths, and each of us living to our full potential. If we give our best, others get our best, and we can optimize our potential as individuals, as a company, and even as a society.  

Charting a New Course 

As an industry, one challenge we are facing is the transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to battery electric vehicles (BEV). The challenge is understanding how products need to change, what products we need to phase out, and what products we need to start making. We have a blank canvas to design our future and what success looks like for DENSO. I have the pleasure and responsibility to contribute to what this looks like for DENSO, to ensure the success of our Thermal business in North America, to support our team members, and to make sure our future is bright.  

In my latest role, I am working closely with DENSO’s Government Affairs group, local economic groups, and local and state officials to advocate for DENSO and build up our surrounding communities. I am learning a lot, and giving it my best, to ensure the livelihood of our community, our company, and our associates.  

I am not alone in designing our future – we all need to work together on what this looks like. I invite you, and challenge you, to join me in shaping our future.   

Make the Choice 

In my spare time, I enjoy coaching my son’s travel hockey and baseball teams. And, I have found that many of the fundamental skills we teach to the young players apply to our daily lives at work. The way to success is through working together and each of us doing our best.  

For your work, hobbies, relationships, your family – be present, give them your full attention and give them your best. Make that choice. You will feel rewarded, those around you will be rewarded, and outcomes will be optimized. You get out of the world what you put into it. 

Q. What do you like about Working at DENSO 

DENSO is one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world – we are a big player in designing the future of mobility. Knowing that I have an opportunity to contribute and positively impact the future of mobility for humanity is awesome. Even small contributions that lead to positive outcomes for society is a great feeling.  

There is no shortage of challenges in our industry. But that is what motivates me. I love thinking creatively and putting together a vision and strategy for our future. And, working with a talented team who can bring our shared vision and goals to life is really rewarding. I’m always impressed by what our DENSO team can do. I value them immensely.  

Working with Matt: 

Andrew Clemence, Business Leader of Green Technology Group 

I have had the pleasure of working with Matt since he joined our DENSO family. First in Canada as we expanded our HVAC business, then at DENSO's manufacturing site in Michigan throughout my rotations to Quality Engineering, Design, Operations and ultimately to my current role as Thermal Business Unit Leader. Matt has always brought a unique perspective which has helped our company and his associates to grow. His challenge and tenacity has helped us to weather and overcome many challenges as we prepare for a bright future in Thermal and North America. I am excited to recognize Matt Briden and continue to support his growth and increasing role in North America, and knowing his leadership capabilities, maybe we will see him and his son’s team in a future World Baseball Classic!