DBusiness Daily Update: Indy 500 Champ Castroneves Headlines Kidneys on Track at M1 Concourse, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Helio Castroneves headlines the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidneys on Track June 2 at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. // Courtesy of IndyCar
Helio Castroneves headlines the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidneys on Track June 2 at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. // Courtesy of IndyCar

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Four-time Indy 500 Champ Castroneves Headlines Kidneys on Track at M1 Concourse

Four-time Indianapolis 500 champions Helio Castroneves will headline the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s newest event — Kidneys on Track — at 6 p.m. June 2 at M1 Concourse in Pontiac.

Kidneys on Track will include a hot lap around M1’s 1.5-mile Champion Motor Speedway, an open bar featuring Tito’s handmade vodka, a sommelier-guided wine selection, a silent auction, and a strolling dinner with dessert.

“More than 1 million Michiganders are living with kidney disease today,” says Dr. Kal Ismail, the local nephrologist and NKFM board member who is spearheading the event. “This is far beyond acceptable. The NKFM has set out to supercharge the fight against kidney disease by melding our love for cars and speed with our desire for a healthy future for Michigan. We are extremely excited to invite our friends to the M1 Concourse to support Kidneys on Track.”

Tickets are available for $500 here.

Average Age of Vehicles in U.S. Increases to 12.2 Years

The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the U.S. rose to 12.2 years this year, increasing by nearly two months over the prior year, according to new research from S&P Global Mobility in Southfield.

This is the fifth straight year the average vehicle age in the U.S. has risen. This year’s average age marks another all-time high for the average age even as the vehicle fleet recovered, growing by 3.5 million units in the past year.

The global microchip shortage, combined with associated supply chain and inventory challenges, are the primary factors pushing U.S. average vehicle age higher, according to the analysis. Chip supply constraints have caused continued parts shortages for carmakers, who have been forced to cut production. The constrained supply of new cars and light trucks, amid a strong demand for personal transportation, could have influenced consumers to continue operating their existing vehicles longer, as inventory levels for both new and used vehicles were depleted across the industry.

The ongoing effect of supply chain constraints has led to a decrease in vehicle scrappage, which measures the number of vehicles leaving the vehicle population and has been a catalyst for the rise in average age over time.

Additionally, the pandemic drove consumers from public transport and shared mobility to personal mobility and since vehicle owners couldn’t upgrade their existing vehicles due to bottlenecks in the supply of new vehicles, the demand for used cars accelerated – boosting vehicle average age further.

The vehicle fleet grew substantially in spite of soft new vehicle sales as units that left the fleet during the pandemic returned and the existing fleet sustained better than expected.

Vehicle miles traveled also has returned to pre-pandemic levels, increasing by more than 10 percent in 2021 as lockdowns eased and people returned to work and leisure travel. According to the S&P Global Mobility analysis, light vehicles in the U.S. traveled an average of more than 12,300 miles in 2021 and are expected to achieve a similar result in 2022.

The average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. will continue to have upward pressure through 2022 and 2023, as the pipeline for new vehicle production and sales continues to be weighed down by parts shortages. The increasing use of sophisticated technology in vehicles also will maintain pressure on semiconductor supply. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis remains a potential impact to the new vehicle supply chain in the coming year.

Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the U.S. has been expanding rapidly over the past few years, with new registrations growing even through the pandemic. This has boosted total BEVs in operation to 1.44 million units (0.51 percent of overall VIO), up nearly 40 percent from the prior year, according to S&P Global Mobility analysis. The average age of electric vehicles in the U.S. is 3.8 years of age this year, down from 3.9 last year, and has been hovering between 3 and 4.1 years since 2016.

As the volume of BEVs increases, it will mean their average age will begin to increase, resulting in increased repair opportunities for BEVs over time.

Whitmer Administration, Fiscal Agencies Reach Consensus on State Revenue Estimates

State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Kathryn Summers, and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary have reached consensus on revised economic and revenue figures for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 and for the upcoming 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.

The officials agreed that revenue will reach $31.52 billion this month, $31.17 billion in May 2023, and $31.67 billion in May 2024.

“Michigan’s economy has momentum and there is a lot to be optimistic about,” Eubanks says. “Today’s revenue numbers for fiscal year 2022 are projected to be nearly $3 billion more than our January conference. This is incredible during these extraordinary times. Moving forward, we must be deliberative when choosing the best way to use our extra revenues, because we don’t know what the future may bring.”

These revenue estimates are based on the most recent economic projections and forecasting models. As with any economic and revenue forecast, there are potential risks to the estimates, including further COVID-19 outbreaks, unexpected changes in the national economy, and international economic issues.

“The news from today’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference is good news as we continue to see strong economic performance in our state,” says Christopher Harkins, the state’s budget director. “It remains imperative that we continue to budget responsibly and with an eye toward the future. One-time resources should be used for strategic investments that won’t create budget gaps in the coming years. I look forward to working with our legislative partners to get a budget enacted that will benefit all Michigan residents.”

FY 2022 spans from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022, while FY 2023 spans from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023. FY 2024 begins on Oct. 1, 2023.

The May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference’s detailed forecast – as well as presentations from today’s session – can be found at Michigan.gov/CREC.

Jones Family Presents $1.3M Gift to JDRF Center at U-M

During the recent JDRF Promise Ball at Ford Field in Detroit, JDRF announced that the Jones family — Ron and Marvel Jones, Carrie Jones-Barber, and Christopher Lee Jones — had made a $1.3 million leadership gift from in memory of their daughter and sister, Connie Jones Forcier, who lived with type 1 diabetes and died from complications of the disease 30 years ago.

The gift has been designated to the JDRF Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan, established in 2019 to expand the university’s Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute and tackle some of the most critical challenges in diabetes research. The goal: To yield safer day-to-day management and improved health for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) by developing a comprehensive understanding of T1D metabolism.

“Over the years we have supported JDRF in many ways,” says Jones-Barber, “and we see all the amazing progress being made and we felt it was our time to provide funding to help assist the scientists and all the great teams that are working together to defeat Type 1 worldwide.”

Nikki Borges, executive director of the JDRF Michigan and Northern Ohio Chapter, says, “We are grateful for the incredible support of the Jones family. Their generous gift will lead to better lives for the 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes, and will help us realize our vision of a world without T1D.”

ACG Detroit to Host Panel Discussion on Labor Shortage May 24

ACG Detroit is hosting a panel discussion from 8-9:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham discussing coping with the current labor shortage.

Frank Mamat, of counsel at Dinsmore, will moderate the program that includes Jason Grobbel, president of EW Grobbel; Phil Fioravante, operating principal of the IOP Fund; Patricia Seagram, vice president of human resources for Henry Ford Health North Market; and Forrest Wall, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan.

Among the questions being posed:

  • Are sufficient wages the primary factor negatively impacting labor shortages?
  • Are particular industries being more impacted than others?
  • Are bankers expressing concern over eroding gross profit margins due to labor issues and related rising inflation, eating into declining cash flow?

To register for the event, visit here.

Laparoscopic Ulcer Surgery Leads to Shorter Hospital Stays, Quicker Recovery

Patients who undergo laparoscopic treatment for a perforated peptic ulcer are more likely to be released from the hospital sooner and recover quicker, according to a study conducted at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. The study was published in a recent edition of the journal Surgical Endoscopy.

Perforated peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. An ulcer can go through all the layers of the digestive tract and form a hole. Patients with perforated peptic ulcer disease typically experience a sudden onset of severe, sharp abdominal pain.

The Sinai-Grace Hospital study involved 49 patients, 33 who underwent open surgery for their ulcer, and 16 patients who were treated with a laparoscopic procedure. The results of the study show that the laparoscopy patients were released from the hospital in an average of 3.7 days, compared to 16.1 days for those who had open surgery.

In addition to shorter hospital stays, the laparoscopy patients had less post-procedure pain and required far less pain medication. The patients also experienced a faster return of normal bowel function and were able to resume common daily activities sooner compared to the open surgery patients.

“The results of our study reaffirm the benefits of minimally invasive treatments for perforated peptic ulcers,” says Dr. Abubaker Ali, a surgeon at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. “Shorter hospitals stay, less pain and a more rapid recovery not only lead to increased patient satisfaction, but also to a decrease in health care costs.”