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MichAuto Priorities for the Automobility Industry Coming Out of CAR MBS

August 4, 2021
DETROIT (Aug. 3, 2021) – Today, MichAuto, a statewide initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, released five priorities for the automobility industry as leaders gather for the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City this week.

“The automotive and mobility industry has shown remarkable resilience over the past 15 months during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MichAuto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the Chamber. “While challenges still remain, MichAuto is excited to work with key partners around our state to transform the industry into an innovative hub for data science, automation, and artificial intelligence that ensures Michigan remains the global mobility leader.”

Attracting the Next Generation of Industry Talent

MichAuto’s Discover Auto: You Drive the Future campaign is a unique initiative to connect young automotive professionals with youth to help them imagine a career in the automotive and mobility industry. The program’s goal is to attract, develop, cultivate, and retain key people that will help drive Michigan forward.

Workforce diversity is a major topic at CAR MBS, and the Discover Auto campaign focuses on attracting individuals from all backgrounds to find a home in the industry. The campaign solidifies Michigan’s and the automobility industry’s position as a high-tech, inclusive, global, solutions-oriented profession for economic opportunity.

High-Tech Talent

While MichAuto is positioning the industry and Michigan to attract the next generation, the industry needs to compete for and cultivate tech talent now. “Tech Talent” is a phrase used to describe the highly sought after workforce with the skills to drive growth and innovation at technology companies. This could include various roles, including IT professionals, computer science professionals, software developers, engineers, data scientists, and many more emerging positions.

“MichAuto applauds the important investment in the entry-level and mid-level skills by Michigan, but the state and industry must make a commitment to invest in the high-tech talent sector to maintain our position in a competitive global marketplace,” said Stevens.

Supply Chain Solutions

Solving the short-term challenge of the semiconductor chip shortage remains priority number one for the industry. However, the medium and long term will be all about critical minerals and components needed for increasingly complex vehicles. The minerals required for the EV industry battery demand will be a significant issue for years to come. The supply chain of the future will design for recyclability, mineral sources, vertical integration, new propulsion, and battery technologies.

EV Impact on Manufacturing

The transition to more electric vehicles will have a significant impact on manufacturing in Michigan and around the globe. MichAuto’s Mobility Contribution Report explored the full extent the industry has on the state’s economy. In 2019, employment in the mobility industry helped generate total direct and indirect employment of almost 1.1 million people in the state, approximately 20% of Michigan’s total employment. Investment in next-generation manufacturing and training for workers focused on internal combustion engines will be critical for the state and the industry to ensure continued economic growth.

Influencing Policy

Much of the next generation of transportation and automotive and mobility investment will come from the Biden Administration and federal agencies like the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy. Michigan has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use money from the American Rescue Plan and a proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill to make the transformational investments for the automotive and mobility industry to grow and thrive. MichAuto’s ability to convene industry, municipal, state, and federal leaders will be critical to ensure wise and effective use of this investment.