Skip to main content

If news of plant closings and a dip in vehicle sales has you wondering if Michigan is losing its hold as the center of the U.S. auto industry, lose those thoughts. A Franco team was on hand as the annual report from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto group and a presentation from the Chamber’s executive director served up a two-course meal of reality and optimism. In short, Michigan’s auto industry is not only healthy, but it’s growing.

Let’s start with that. The buffet breakfast at MICHauto’s annual meeting at the Detroit Athletic Club sure went down easier after Executive Director Glenn Stevens laid out the good news, informing us that 18 automakers have a headquarters or what he called “a presence” here in Michigan. “There is no place in the world where you will find this concentration of automotive assets. It does not exist,” Stevens told us.

When we dive into the report, things look even better.

Some quick bullet points:

  • Auto jobs in Michigan have grown 7 percent from 2014 to 2018. That new Detroit Jeep plant FCA announced recently will add several hundred more jobs.
  • 96 of the top 100 automotive suppliers to North America have a presence in Michigan. 60 have their headquarters here.
  • $29 billion in automaker and supplier investment in Michigan since 2009. That’s more than three times any other state.
  • 17 percent of all 2018 U.S. vehicle production and 11 percent of all North American vehicle production happened right here in Michigan.

Need more proof?

The Mitten has its fingers firmly pointed to the future rating number 1 in the country for U.S. Department of Transportation funded and connected vehicle deployments and projects, and we’ll have more than 500 miles of roadway equipped for connected vehicle testing by 2020.

Aside from maintaining jobs, preserving stability for Michigan’s families and preserving out motoring heritage, Glenn Stevens informed us there are literally trillions of dollars on the table. “If you look at not so distant future, personal mobility and a shared-use economy is projected to be a 7-10 trillion dollar industry,” Stevens said.

To help ensure our state is doing the right things to grab as much of that bounty, MICHauto is making some moves like creating a four-person “auto caucus” in the state legislature to protect the industry’s interests, and investing about a half-million dollars over the next 27 months in the organization’s growth–adding a dedicated MICHauto person in Grand Rapids working out of the offices of business support organization TheRightPlace.

At Franco, we know that what’s good for the state of Michigan is good for all of our clients, whether or not they’re headquartered here. A strong automotive industry is a major driver of the state’s economy, sparking growth not only for related companies but for almost any other company doing business in our state. Indeed, Franco and our clients all have one thing in common–a keen interest in the state of our state’s economy. When it’s healthy, our businesses are too.

Photos provided by MICHauto