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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

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Thursday
Dec192013

Aggressively Working to Retain MI's Role as an Auto Leader

Today’s world is moving faster than ever before. Ideas, information, money, people…we’ve seen tremendous acceleration in just the last few decades, and there’s a lot more on the horizon.

Here in Michigan, this isn’t just an abstract concept.  As the birthplace of the world’s automotive industry, our state helped make personal mobility possible for millions of people. One thing’s for sure: the future of mobility is unlike anything our grandfathers imagined a century ago. Today’s cars are light, computerized, and operating on alternative fuel sources. New ideas and technologies are being tested and deployed every day, to broaden the notion of what it means to transport people and goods worldwide. Michigan is now engaged in a race to retain its leadership role in the automotive industry as the industry continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector. We must position ourselves to win.

BLM recently released a plan to help Michigan capitalize on emerging trends and lead the future of mobility. It was developed in partnership with McKinsey & Company, the Center for Automotive Research and other industry leaders throughout 2013 and reflects the latest data and most promising new trends.

Our plan is about more than moving people—it’s about moving the state of Michigan toward greater economic prosperity, job creation, and growth. It is important to remember that the automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy. If we seize the opportunities that are on the horizon today, we can create more than 100,000 new jobs and ensure Michigan remains a player in the global mobility economy that is unfolding before our very eyes.  If we fail to act, then we risk standing on the sidelines while Germany, Japan, and Silicon Valley reap the benefits of changing mobility technologies.

Michigan has the tools to lead the future of global mobility. Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as home to engineers, and high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is the only region in the world with the ability to compete fully in all aspects of mobility development.

However, Michigan is behind the pack when it comes to talent development and venture capital funding, and this puts our industry leadership in jeopardy.  For example, 1,200 powertrain graduates are being produced in Bavaria each year, more than double the number being developed in Michigan. Our venture capital investments in sector total $140 million, just a fraction of the $6 billion being invested elsewhere.

We must address these challenges—and quickly—if we are to seize the opportunity for continued global prominence in the mobility sector. 

Here’s how Michigan can move forward:

  •  Establish state-level leadership to advocate for growth in the automotive and mobility industries. Inter-agency partnerships, coupled with private-sector mobility leadership groups and executive leadership, will help ensure full implementation of the strategic plan for mobility.
  • Create a marketing & branding initiative to support Michigan’s strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries.
  • Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities for attendees.
  • Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry by designing and offering education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles.  Michigan must also support strong programs with adequate financial and/or tax incentives.
  • Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers.  Moreover, we should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments in light of a global competitive context.
  • Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds.

Each of these actions is important, and Michigan needs to quickly move forward with work we know is needed, and advance our strongest ideas and strategies forward very aggressively.  If we wait, we risk the future of our state as our global competitors take the lead.

The appointment of Nigel Francis as automotive advisor to Governor Rick Snyder is a positive step in the right direction. Francis will be an important part of a committee dedicated to implementing the strategies outlined above. The committee, which already includes top industry leaders and analysts, will begin its work soon after the Governor announces his vision for the mobility industry early next year.

While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that Michigan is the leader of the emerging mobility industry. 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.

 

Wednesday
Dec112013

Michigan Poised to be Global Center of Mobility

Business Leaders for Michigan unveils strategy to grow auto industry potential, add 100,000 new jobs

Download the report. 

DETROIT, Mich., December 11, 2013— Michigan has the potential to grow up to 100,000 new jobs in the state’s important automotive sector by becoming a center of excellence in advanced powertrain, lightweight and smart/connected transportation technologies. That’s according to a strategy advanced today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten State for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

The BLM plan was developed with a coalition of top industry experts, the Center for Automotive Research and McKinsey & Company. The plan positions Michigan for long-term growth in the auto sector as it continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector.  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 Company 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 sophisticated connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions and safety.  Mobility also refers to multi-modal and intermodal solutions 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 automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy.

Jay Baron, President & CEO of the Center for Automotive Research said, “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.  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.”

“Michigan must build on its strengths,  while seeing and acting on emerging needs and shaping industry, technology, regulation and consumer trends,” said Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice for McKinsey & Company and BLM board member.  “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/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

“This strategy provides an exciting, fact-based roadmap to grow one of our state’s most important industries,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO.   “Currently, Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as home to engineers, and high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is well-positioned to soar as a leader of automotive innovation.”

The full report can be found at: http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/research-data/.  BLM will report annually on progress being made to implement this and the other five strategies identified to make Michigan a Top Ten state.

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NOTE:  Media interested in speaking with the industry experts that prepared the report can attend a special briefing onThursday, December 12 at 1:00 P.M. at the Center for Automotive Research at 3005 Boardwalk, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Speakers: Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan, Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice, McKinsey & Company and Dr. Sean McAlinden, Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Economist, Center for Automotive Research

Please RSVP to Amy Novak at: 313-259-5400.

Download the press release. 

 


Monday
Dec022013

Designing Michigan’s Economic Future

BLM Promotes Agenda to Make Michigan a “Global Engineering Village”

DETROIT, Mich., December 2, 2013 —Michigan can capitalize on its engineering strengths to become a leader in the knowledge economy of tomorrow, according to recommendations released today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM).

BLM convened top economic and industry leaders to develop a business agenda that capitalizes on Michigan’s strong engineering base, attracts and develops new engineering talent, and redefines the state’s economic identity.

“Michigan leads the nation in the number of engineers per capita, and has the output metrics and earnings power to support tremendous economic growth,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We began with these strengths in mind, and reached out to key stakeholders to help develop a business plan capable of strengthening the state’s economy through this industry sector.”

The strategy is aimed at a single goal: increase the engineering sector’s contribution to Michigan’s economy over the next ten years and help Michigan achieve recognition as a Global Engineering Village with exceptional and plentiful engineering talent. Three key strategies are identified to achieve the goal:

  • Attract engineers from out-of-state and retain those already in Michigan
  • Implement a marketing & branding campaign that positions Michigan as a hotbed for engineers
  • Strengthen Michigan’s education system and expand practical applications to encourage students to engage in technical careers and specifically engineering.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov122013

Business Leaders for Michigan Report shows Michigan local governments are collaborating, more can be done

LANSING, Mich., November 12, 2013 — Regional leaders in Michigan have been pursuing collaboration for some time and will have more opportunities to enhance collaboration in the years ahead, according to a report released today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) looking at local government collaboration efforts in Michigan.

“More than two-thirds of Michigan voters support providing more funding to units of government that work together by merging services and prioritizing state funding to regions of the state that show they can work together,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “Efforts implemented by the Governor and Legislature over the last few years, such as the Economic Vitality Incentive Program and the Regional Prosperity Initiative recognize the need to incentivize collaboration.”

Key findings of the Business Leaders’ Insights: Local Government Collaboration in Michigan report:

  • Local governments in Michigan are pursuing collaboration as a way to spur economic development and to address the competing pressures of lower revenues and increasing costs
  • Regional collaboration is already underway between many local governments in Michigan with benefits ranging from improved marketing and promotion of regional assets to significant cost savings
  • New laws designed to make collaboration even more attractive haven’t been in place long enough to know whether they will accelerate collaboration, but public support for increased collaboration is strong

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov072013

Business Leaders for Michigan takes "Michigan Ambassador" Program to the Big Apple

Top corporate CEOs meet global executives with strong Michigan ties, site selection experts 

New York City, November 7, 2013 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state's business roundtable, today brought leading corporate executives to New York City to meet with “Michigan alumni” and top business development leaders to talk about Michigan’s comeback and reestablished position as a leading location for business development and expansion.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder joined executives in emphasizing the state’s strengths on key factors that lead to economic expansion.   

“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed its business climate,” said Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Michigan President and CEO. “The steps Michigan has taken to become more competitive have paid off.  Our tax climate has flipped from one of the nation’s worst to one of the best, Michigan is a national leader in terms of R&D and talent production and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average.”

Click to read more ...