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Michigan Poised to be Global Center of Mobility

Michigan Poised to be Global Center of Mobility
Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
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Business Leaders for Michigan unveils strategy to grow auto industry potential, add 100,000 new jobs

DETROIT, Mich., December 11, 2013— Michigan has the potential to grow up to 100,000 new jobs in the state’s important automotive sector by becoming a center of excellence in advanced powertrain, lightweight and smart/connected transportation technologies. That’s according to a strategy advanced today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten State for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

The BLM plan was developed with a coalition of top industry experts, the Center for Automotive Research and McKinsey & Company. The plan positions Michigan for long-term growth in the auto sector as it continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector.  It is one of six strategies BLM is developing as part of its Michigan Turnaround Plan.

“The automotive industry is fast becoming a mobility industry,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and chair of BLM’s mobility initiative.  “While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that we are the leader of the emerging mobility industry.”

Mobility refers to products associated with transporting people and goods, as well as sophisticated connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions and safety.  Mobility also refers to multi-modal and intermodal solutions that integrate personal vehicles with public transit and reduce congestion and emissions. Michigan’s advantage in the mobility arena is rooted in the state’s leadership on R&D, production and supply companies that operate here. The automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy.

Jay Baron, President & CEO of the Center for Automotive Research said, “Michigan is well positioned to compete in powertrain and light-weighting technologies, but faces strong challenges from other competitive hubs in the emerging area of smart and connected transportation.  No place has a greater concentration of the auto industry, but Michigan must have a sharper focus and build greater public-private collaboration to ensure continued leadership as the industry evolves.”

“Michigan must build on its strengths,  while seeing and acting on emerging needs and shaping industry, technology, regulation and consumer trends,” said Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice for McKinsey & Company and BLM board member.

“Michigan has strong capital availability and an unsurpassed concentration of Original Equipment Manufacturers/suppliers and their respective know-how.  As the industry is transforming, Michigan must be aggressive in growing the talent pipeline, base of innovation and industry collaboration across the industry value chain.” The BLM mobility strategy outlines six categories of action:

  • Leadership: Support the creation of a state-level position/function to facilitate government’s role in growing the automotive and mobility industries. Other key leadership elements include an inter-agency partnership and the establishment of a private-sector mobility leadership group focused on implementing BLM’s recommendations
  • Marketing & branding: Launch a marketing and branding campaign to support Michigan’s strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries
  • Strategic convening: Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events in Michigan, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities for attendees
  • Talent development: Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry and design/offer education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles; support strong programs with adequate financial/tax incentives
  • Collaboration network:  Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers; the state should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments in light of a global competitive context
  • Capital attraction: Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds

“This strategy provides an exciting, fact-based roadmap to grow one of our state’s most important industries,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO.  “Currently, Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as home to engineers, and high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is well-positioned to soar as a leader of automotive innovation.”

The full report can be found at:
http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/research-data/.
BLM will report annually on progress being made to implement this and the other five strategies identified to make Michigan a Top Ten state.

NOTE:  Media interested in speaking with the industry experts that prepared the report can attend a special briefing onThursday, December 12 at 1:00 P.M. at the Center for Automotive Research at 3005 Boardwalk, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 Speakers: Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan, Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice, McKinsey & Company and Dr. Sean McAlinden, Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Economist, Center for Automotive Research

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