“We are here today for exactly the same purpose that Gov. Whitmer signed those executive orders moments ago– to ensure Michigan’s ongoing leadership role in next-generation mobility,” Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber said at the opening of the 2020 MICHauto Summit.
Baruah kicked off the event focused on the global revolution of mobility, following the signing of two executive actions by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – an Executive Directive to create the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and designate a Chief Mobility Officer to head the office, and an Executive Order to create the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification.
“Just because Michigan owned the last century, does not mean we are guaranteed to own the next,” Baruah continued. “There is no doubt if you needed to place a bet on any place around the globe as to who will own that next-generation of mobility, you would put that bet right here on Detroit and Michigan.”
That sentiment was clear in a room made up of by automotive leaders, mobility experts, key public partners, and legislators —an ecosystem convened and empowered by MICHauto’s mission to promote, grow, and retain the automotive and mobility industry for more than 10 years.
As MICHauto Executive Director Glenn Stevens shared the work that MICHauto has done, as the statewide automotive and mobility industry association, it became apparent that this organization is a driving force behind securing Michigan’s leadership in the global mobility revolution. Now, more than ever, MICHauto’ s work has doubled down as the state continues to position itself as a leader in this next-generation mobility revolution.
“The economic contribution of the industry today is $225 billion annually to our state. If you look at the global industry, it’s about $3.5 trillion industry today. In the future, we are talking about a $7 trillion plus industry,” said Stevens. “The economic opportunity for Michigan is huge, and the economic risk of us not leading it is even greater.”
The theme of the day, leading the global mobility revolution, rang true in every conversation that hit the stage, highlighting the unique platform Michigan provides to the industry’s future. Discussion circled around ways the industry continue to strengthen itself such as diversity and inclusion, the importance of electrification as the new frontier, the convergence of defense and automotive, and the technology powering self-driving innovation.
Michigan’s automotive and mobility industry came out of the last decade following the recession with more than 60,000 new automotive manufacturing jobs, a nearly 50% growth, as stated in the Michigan is Automobility report released at the Summit. Looking ahead to the next decade for the worlds most dense automotive industry cluster, Michigan is poised to continue this growth in the new frontier of the automotive industry.
Additional data from the Michigan is Automobility report also highlights the top drivers attributing the job growth– the global companies that call Michigan home. Over 21 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have headquarters or technology centers in Michigan and it is also home to 96 of the top 100 automotive suppliers to North America.
A closing thought that many had as the program ended –Michigan is in on track to continue leading the global mobility revolution and with MICHauto, the Governor, and industry stakeholders continuing to collaborate and convene, there is no stopping the trajectory the state is on.