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MichAuto Convenes Legislators and Automotive Leaders to Address Industry Challenges

April 28, 2020

This week, MichAuto hosted a virtual Town Hall meeting for its investors with the Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus co-chairs. Investors learned more about MichAuto’s crucial role in advising government on automotive industry challenges and concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis and heard directly from legislators.

MichAuto and Detroit Regional Chamber Lend Support

MichAuto Executive Director Glenn Stevens Jr. provided an overview of the actions his team is taking to support members and the automotive community at large including:

  • Connecting with investors and members through personal outreach and biweekly newsletters containing the latest updates and resources.
  • Providing the industry with unprecedented access to government and business leaders through Tele-Town Hall sessions.
  • Creating the Michigan Automotive Synergy Task Force to coordinate efforts in response to COVID-19 across the automotive industry.
  • Mobilizing automotive industry and economic prosperity partners to provide PPE to health care workers.
  • Working directly with legislators and government leaders to advocate for the industry’s needs.

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah spoke to the Chamber’s robust resource center. He shared new data from the Chamber’s statewide COVID-19 impact poll to gauge the impact on Michigan households and workers.

Baruah shared the Chamber’s point of view as plans to reopen the economy emerge – noting its role in advising government leaders on what is top-of-mind for businesses. He also announced an upcoming webinar series with KPMG – Restart Michigan Automotive – and a special business consultancy partnership with the University of Michigan MBA program.

Legislators Address Industry Concerns

Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Jim Lilly (R-Park Twp), Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), and Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) discussed the best ways to support and communicate with the automotive industry amid COVID-19. They agreed the most significant challenge ahead is safely reactivating the economy while prioritizing the health, safety, and trust of employees and customers.

Lilly explained that instead of seeking best practices, the Caucus should establish “leading practices” to evolve as more information is available. McMorrow spoke to the effectiveness of creating industry-focused groups to elevate relevant issues to decision-makers despite a bipartisan task force recently being disbanded. She also suggested exploring a variety of reopen plans from the business, health care, and policy sectors to inform the best strategies to apply to the automotive industry moving forward.

The legislators emphasized their shared commitment to slowing the spread of the virus and ensuring employee and consumer safety. They are hopeful that with continued bipartisan and industry collaboration, Michigan’s automotive sector will emerge strongly from these unprecedented circumstances.

Listen to the full conversation.