tA fleet of vehicles with Michigan ties is traveling the state to promote the automotive industry as a vital contributor to Michigan’s economic comeback and the role it will play in the state’s future. First stop? The Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars, which run through Thursday in Traverse City.
t“The automotive industry is driving Michigan’s economic revival in a significant way and that’s a message we want to be sure is both seen and heard across the state,” says Nigel J. Francis, senior vice president of the automotive office at Michigan Economic Development Corp., which is leading the tour with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto, which seeks to promote, retain, and grow the industry. “A picture is worth a thousand words, and this tour is a way to visibly showcase and share the great story about Michigan’s auto industry.”
tThe road trip — which will also make stops during the Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 16 and the MICHauto Summit on Sept. 23 — brings together vehicles representing a variety of manufacturers as well as suppliers that assemble, design, and/or engineer world-class vehicles in Michigan.
tThe Big Three automakers are represented via the Chevrolet Silverado, Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford F-150, and Ford Mustang, along with foreign automakers that produce the Nissan Rogue and Toyota Tundra.
t“Perceptions of Michigan’s automotive industry are lagging behind reality, even here at home,” says Glenn Stevens, vice president of MICHauto and strategic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The industry is growing and sparking high-tech innovation in our state in a way that would make Henry Ford smile and Steve Jobs jealous. The auto industry offers Michigan the opportunity to again redefine mobility for the world, and that’s something we need to get behind as a state.
t“Michigan’s automotive industry is more than our glorious past; it’s setting the pace for our prosperous future.”
tIn 2013, 28 Michigan counties received more than $2.3 billion in automotive investment, creating nearly 11,000 jobs, Stevens says.
tTour officials are asking auto enthusiasts to join the conversation by sharing sightings and photos from the vehicles on social media channels with the hashtag #MichiganIsAuto. The vehicles won’t be hard to miss — they’re adorned with Pure Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber/MICHauto logos for easy identification.