‘Global Center for Mobility’ Plan Aims To Add 100,000 Jobs

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan is already known as a global leader in the automotive industry. Business Leaders for Michigan, the statewide CEO grouip that succeeded Detroit Renaissance, Wednesday outlined a plan to grow that industry further with a target of adding 100,000 new jobs in what BLM calls mobility.

The jobs would be in the high-tech end of the industry — advanced powertrains, lightweighting vehicles and smart, connected transportation technologies.

The BLM plan was developed with a coalition of top industry experts, the Center for Automotive Research and McKinsey & Co. It is one of six strategies BLM is developing as part of its Michigan Turnaround Plan.

“The automotive industry is fast becoming a mobility industry,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and chair of BLM’s mobility initiative. “While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that we are the leader of the emerging mobility industry.”

Mobility refers to products associated with transporting people and goods, as well as connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions and safety. Mobility also refers to multi-modal and intermodal systems that integrate personal vehicles with public transit and reduce congestion and emissions. Michigan’s advantage in the mobility arena is rooted in the state’s leadership on R&D, production and supply companies that operate here. The auto industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy.

“Michigan is well positioned to compete in powertrain and light-weighting technologies, but faces strong challenges from other competitive hubs in the emerging area of smart and connected transportation,” said Jay Baron, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research. “No place has a greater concentration of the auto industry, but Michigan must have a sharper focus and build greater public-private collaboration to ensure continued leadership as the industry evolves.”

Added Hans-Werner Kaas, senior partner and leader of the automotive practice for McKinsey and a BLM board member: “Michigan must build on its strengths, while seeing and acting on emerging needs and shaping industry, technology, regulation and consumer trends. Michigan has strong capital availability and an unsurpassed concentration of original equipment manufacturers, suppliers and their respective know-how. As the industry is transforming, Michigan must be aggressive in growing the talent pipeline, base of innovation and industry collaboration across the industry value chain.”

The BLM mobility strategy outlines six categories of action:
• Leadership: Support the creation of a state-level position and function to facilitate government’s role in growing the automotive and mobility industries. Other key leadership elements include an inter-agency partnership and the establishment of a private-sector mobility leadership group focused on implementing BLM’s recommendations
• Marketing & branding: Launch a marketing and branding campaign to support Michigan’s strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries
• Strategic convening: Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events in Michigan, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities for attendees
• Talent development: Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry and design/offer education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles; support strong programs with adequate financial/tax incentives
• Collaboration network: Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers; the state should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments in light of a global competitive context
• Capital attraction: Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds

The full strategy to grow a Global Center of Mobility can be found at http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/research-and-reports/new-michigan-global-center-of-mobility.html.

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