Governor Granholm Challenges Italian Automotive Suppliers

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BIRMINGHAM, Mich., June 27, 2009 – More than 200 automotive executives and government officials filled the main ballroom of the Townsend Hotel as the Italian American Alliance for Business and Technology (IAABT) presented twenty-three technology suppliers from Italy.

The event was designed to highlight Italian automotive suppliers already established in Michigan, as well as others who are establishing a presence here. Most are already doing business with Chrysler or Fiat, but are poised to do more in the future.

Governor Jennifer Granholm opened the event with an enthusiastic call for partnering between Italy and Michigan to create a new technology supplier base in this region. She challenged the new companies to operate in Michigan, citing competitive incentives and hinting that Fiat should also choose Michigan for its manufacturing facilities.  Granholm also cited the Michigan Economic Development Commission strategy to divert traditionally strong automotive competencies into other sectors that are of growing importance to the State of Michigan, like batteries and wind energy.

“Both exhibitors and the guests were equally excited about this event” said Massimo Denipoti, president of IAABT.  “In our present economy, everyone active in the automotive sector understands what limits and opportunities the industry can represent. While this sector hasn’t exactly come back, important events like Chrysler’s partnership with Fiat, GM quickly emerging from bankruptcy, and the re-invention of our financial institutions bring a sense of closure to uncertain times.”

Centerpiece of last week’s event was a Fiat 500, built in Italy but eventually to be built in North America.  Among the Italian companies exhibiting were Magneti Marelli , Brembo, Marposs, Comau, Comec, Teksid, VM Motori, UFI Filters and many others.

Marco Nobili, Consul of Italy in Detroit, introduced the Governor, and was pleased with the outcome of the event and the work of IAABT. “The increasing recognition our companies are receiving” says Consul Nobili, “confirms once again Italy’s leadership in automotive technology and innovation”.

The Italian American Alliance for Business and Technology (IAABT) is a non-profit organization founded by a small group of visionary Italian technology companies active in Michigan. Mission of the alliance is to promote Italian technology and serve the networking needs of Italian and American companies wishing to expand business opportunities in North America and in Italy.

For additional information see www.IAABT.org or call (248) 227-6143.

For interview requests, or for high-resolution image files, contact Jim Meloche jmeloche@usautocom.com (248-376-4076).

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