MACKINAC (WWJ) – Speaking at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference — Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford said he believes the future outlook of the auto industry in Michigan is “super exciting.”

“I look back at the period from the founding of Ford Motor Company in 1903 to about the Great Depression and the level of innovation – the capital inflow the entrepreneur activity that happened in this region was unprecedented anywhere else in the world and it really set us up for a standard of living that lasted about 70 years,” said Ford. “It was incredible. I actually think we are about to enter that same phase again, if we do this right.”

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Ford said major manufacturers need to embrace the change that lies ahead. He believes all future forms of transportation, especially in urban areas, are going to be linked together on a master computer network.

While a standing room crowd was on hand for a panel discussion about achieving racial equity.

Former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer spoke during a Townhall – style meeting addressing the landscape for small business and creating more diversity in the business environment.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the Washington Post Eugene Robinson spoke about the business case for racial equity and of Freddy Gray – a Baltimore man who died while in custody of police.

“Freddy Gray’s main source of income was regular payments from a court settlement over lead paint in the house he grew up in – they called these payments lead checks in Baltimore and there were parts of Baltimore that were just slathered in lead paint,” said Robinson.

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