LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder arrived in Milan, Italy on Sunday, leading a delegation of state officials and economic developers on a weeklong investment mission to Italy and Germany. The mission is focusing on strengthening long-standing relationships and attracting job-creating business investments, primarily with automotive companies, according to Lansing officials.
“Michigan’s long-standing ties with German and Italian automotive companies continue to result in good jobs here, and we look forward to fostering these highly productive relationships,” Snyder said. “With 70 percent of global automotive research and development happening here in Michigan, and our strong manufacturing base and business-friendly environment, there is no better place in North America for European companies to expand than in Michigan. We will deliver the message that this is an opportune time to invest in a state that is reinventing the ways we can help companies grow.”
Joining Snyder are Michigan Senior Automotive Adviser Nigel Francis, Michigan Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Michael A. Finney and other MEDC officials, as well as representatives from local economic development agencies including the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Right Place Inc. of Grand Rapids, and Southwest Michigan First of Kalamazoo.
In Milan, Snyder held business meetings with senior executives of leading Italian companies, including Brugola OEB Industriale S.p.A., Brembo S.p.A., I.t.f. Group, Poltrona Frau Group, Comau, and Fiat. He provided remarks at a reception at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, and meet with the mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino.
The delegation later will fly to Germany, where it will meet with executives from voxeljet AG and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Later in the week it will meet senior leaders from Eissmann Automotive Deutschland GmbH, Heller Group, MANN+HUMMEL GmbH, and WKW Walter Klein GmbH and Co. KG, as well as government officials including the mayor of Ludwigsburg, Werner Spec.
“Michigan’s strategic priorities for success in the automotive industry are directly connected to global outreach,” Francis said. “German and Italian companies are significant investors and employers in Michigan’s automotive economy. Our mission message is: If you are in the auto industry and are looking to invest or expand in North America, Michigan has everything you need to succeed.”
Francis was appointed Michigan’s auto adviser and senior vice president of the Automotive Industry Office by Snyder on Sept. 1. The Automotive Industry Office and automotive adviser position are housed within the Michigan Economic Development Corp.