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What’s at Stake for Michigan’s Auto Industry with the Next Presidency, Congress

October 25, 2020

Crain’s Detroit

By: Rick Haglund

Michigan’s automakers and the hundreds of parts suppliers who support them have a lot riding on the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Decisions by the next president and Congress on trade, the environment, energy and public health will have a huge impact on an industry making a historic transformation to electric vehicles.

And while automakers have bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic more quickly than predicted, some say the industry — particularly small suppliers — and consumers will need continued financial aid into 2021 to head off another collapse.

That could be especially critical if what appears to be a second round of COVID-19 ravages the country this winter and shuts down the economy again.

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Gov. Whitmer Makes Appointments to Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced the following appointments to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification which will work to ensure Michigan continues to be the world leader in future mobility, including autonomous and connected vehicle technology, electric powertrain technology and charging infrastructure, and shared and transit mobility option. 

  

On Feb. 25, 2020, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-2 creating the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, housed within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, to replace the Council on Future Mobility, which was abolished under the order. The Council will serve in an advisory capacity to LEO and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, the governor, and the legislature, providing annual recommendations on changes in state policy. In doing so, the council will work to ensure Michigan continues to be an epicenter of future transportation solutions around mobility and electrification. 

  

The Governor has designated the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to serve as chairperson of the council. This role is currently being held by Acting Director Susan Corbin who will serve as chairperson at the pleasure of the Governor. 

 

The Council will consist of the Directors from the Departments of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Transportation, Insurance and Financial Services, State Police, Treasury, Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, and the chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission. Additionally, the Governor is appointing the following 10 members to the council:  

  

  • Robert F. Babik, of Ann Arbor, is the executive director of global regulatory affairs and sustainability for General Motors Co. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University. Babik is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2024. 
  • Stephen J. Bartoli, of Birmingham, is the vice president of global greenhouse gas compliance for the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group (FCA). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University. Bartoli is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2024.
  • Patrick Cadariu, of Detroit, is the head of vehicle and trucking supply chain operations for Waymo. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Cadariu is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2023. 
  • Derek S. Caveney, of Plymouth, is an executive engineer for Toyota’s North American operations. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Queen’s University and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkley. Caveney is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2023.
  • Cory Connolly, of Detroit, is the vice president of policy at the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Michigan State University. Connolly is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2022.
  • Jeffrey A. Dokho, of Huntington Woods, is the research director for the United Auto Workers American Labor Union. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University. Dokho is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2022.
  • Emily Frascaroli, of Grosse Ile, is managing counsel of the Product Litigation Group at Ford Motor Company, including the product litigation, asbestos, and discovery teams, and a lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California, Master of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University. Frascaroli is appointed to represent insurance interests for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2024.
  • Chris Nevers, of Dundee, is the director of environmental engineering and policy at Rivian Automotive. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toledo and a Master of Engineering in Automotive Engineering from the University of Michigan. Nevers is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2023.
  • Huei Peng, of Ann Arbor, is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and the associate director of MCity. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the National Taiwan University, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkley. Peng is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2021.
  • Satish S. Udpa, of Okemos, is a distinguished professor at Michigan State University and a fellow and editor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Post Grad Diploma in Electrical Engineering from J.N.T. University in Hyderabad, India, and a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University. Udpa is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2021.

The following members of the Legislature will serve as non-voting ex officio members of the Council: Sen. Ken Horn designated by the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mallory McMorrow designated by the Senate Minority Leader, Rep. Jim Lilly designated by the Speaker of the House, and Rep. Abdullah Hammoud designated by the House Minority Leader.  

  

These appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

COVID-19 Data Insights from Foley: Supply Chain Resilience

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain resilience has come into sharp focus for many manufacturing companies. Over the last few months, MICHauto investor Foley has collected insights on supply chain issues to provide guidance on how companies can enhance the assessment of their supply chain’s resilience.

The Supply Chain Survey Report is the result of input from approximately 150 industry executives.

Key findings of the Supply Chain Survey Report include:

  • 43% of the responding companies have already pulled out of China or are planning to do so, with many looking to reshore closer to home, be it in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.
  • 70% agree that companies will lessen their focus on sourcing from the lowest-cost supplier, with other resilience factors taking on an increased prominence.
  • 62% agree that the focus on just-in-time manufacturing models will also decrease.
  • More than 80% of the responding executives noted that multi-sourcing to reduce reliance on a single supplier for key products and services, and improving key business partner relationships were at the top of activities being executed on or considered to address supply chain resilience.

In addition, Foley has created Accelerating Trends Report 2020, which analyzes and offers guidance on supply chain trends, including rethinking China, resiliency strategies, efficiency, and innovation. The report also includes a Supply Chain Assessment Tool for assessing future process changes.

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