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Growth in the Global Market

At the 2020 MICHauto Summit, Michael Robinet, executive director of automotive advisory services at IHS Markit, outlined factors in his keynote address that will impact Michigan’s position in the global automotive mobility landscape and provided insight into the steps necessary to affirm the state’s leadership among other emerging markets. 

Robinet explained that IHS Markit provides vehicle forecasts on powertrain electrification, autonomy, and mobility. As part of the advisory team, Robinet works with suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help better understand what’s happening in the industry. 

Suppliers and manufacturers look at two different factors when it comes to growthRobinet said, specifying that they consider both the data monetization of autonomous and education content, along with how to drive more volume and establish new dealer networks. 

“Our business has long been driven [by] scale and that mantra continues today,” said Robinet. “When you’re designing new electrification or autonomous structures, it’s a lot easier to afford if the number you’re dividing it by is an awful lot bigger than your competitor.”  

Robinet also noted some longterm trends emerging including that while sports utilities or crossovers will remain close to 50% of the market, that growth is slowing. And pickup trucks have likely leveled out for now in terms of their share of the market. 

Michigan has remained strong over the last decade and the volumes are still quite strong, Robinet said.  

“You see that global OEMs are really refocusing their efforts on using existing powertrains, harnessing new levels of electrification, and looking for where the data is going to have value in the future.” 

Executive Director of MICHauto Glenn Stevens Jr. and host of “Autoline” John McElroy joined Robinet onstage to continue the discussion. 

The group talked about how the industry has changed, and where it is headed in the next decade. Leadership has shifted drastically in the last ten years, noted Stevens. 

“When it comes to issues that are important, for example, diversity and inclusion, it was mentioned that it either comes from the top and from the troops, or it doesn’t work and it’s not relevant and impactful,” said Stevens. 

McElroy directed the discussion to how the U.S. needs to be thinking about the importance of the automotive and mobility industry. We are competing against countries that have industrial policies that are taking jobs away from us, he explained 

“We’re going to have to do things that make sure it’s on more of a level playing field,” said McElroy.