Michigan is poised to remain a leader in transportation technology thanks to its legacy of long-standing relationships with key U.S. automakers, according to a new article from Newsweek. Silicon Valley in Automotive.
“For years U.S. automakers have been putting lots of money into developing digital technology, ranging from drivetrains and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) to a broad range of hardware and software connecting cars to the internet and to make them self-driving,” says Jake Lingeman, author of the article. “Increasingly that money is being invested close to U.S. automaking’s ancestral home.”
The article covers the contributions Ford Motor Company, Stellantis and General Motors (GM) have made to make Michigan an integral part of their mobility and software engineering advancements.
Automakers Invest in Future Success
Ford has focused funding in the downtown Detroit area with the creation of the Michigan Central Innovation District. The company bought the historic Michigan Central Train Station in 2018 to act as an anchor for the 30-acre campus to act as a hub for talent, mobility innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, affordable housing, small business opportunities and community engagement.
Google, who recently joined the project, will work with Ford to help develop the future of mobility in Michigan.
“This partnership will expand our work in Michigan and help a substantial number of people gain the skills and tools they need to succeed,” said Google CFO Ruth Porat. “By offering digital skills training, mentoring to high schoolers learning to code, and Google Cloud technology for Michigan Central projects and research on the future of mobility, we look forward to contributing to Michigan Central’s mission and all it will accomplish.”
So far, Ford has invested $740 million to develop the campus. This was a precursor to a pledge of another $2 billion, which will create more than 3,200 new jobs.
Stellantis has also set its sights on an increased presence in Michigan, according to the Newsweek article. In 2021, the company expanded its user experience and design groups. Once only focused on Silicon Valley, the company has since formed a new “Software Experience” team in Michigan.
Silicon Valley in Automotive
“The Detroit area is becoming a center of competence for user experience technology and many of the suppliers that exist in Silicon Valley now have representation in Michigan,” Vince Gallante, Stellantis vice president of global user experience design. “We’re supporting all 14 of Stellantis’ brands with hires from Apple, Disney and Microsoft.”
Further building on Michigan’s leadership in the mobility and automotive industries, General Motors (GM) announced a $7 billion investment in Michigan, the largest in the company’s history. The investment was recognized as part of the Deal of the Year awards in Business Facilities’ 2022 Impact Awards in the category of Electric Vehicles.
“We appreciate this recognition that innovation is part of the Michigan DNA. Team Michigan is proud to celebrate this national and global recognition in 2023,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) CEO. “We must work to retain our position and Team Michigan is committed to this work. Each investment is a vote of confidence in our innovation culture, the continued strength of our talented workforce and builds on our commitment to winning the future of mobility.”
Michigan’s Forward Momentum
U.S. automakers aren’t alone in looking to Michigan for industry-leading support. Across the mobility sector, the state saw plenty of other EV and battery investments to celebrate:
- LG Energy Solution announced a $1.7 billion expansion creating 1,200 jobs in Holland manufacturing batteries.
- Canadian EV charging network operator FLO announced an investment of $3 million for the company’s first-ever U.S. manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills.
- Michigan-based Our Next Energy a $1.6 billion investment to establish its first cell and EV battery pack gigafactory in Van Buren Township, creating up to 2,112 jobs.
- Gotion announced a $2.36 billion investment for a new manufacturing facility in Big Rapids, creating up to 2,350 jobs.
This positive news builds on the recognition that Michigan has already been gathering in the first weeks of 2023. CNBC reported that Michigan is among the three states that will lead electric battery manufacturing in the U.S. by 2030. Michigan also rose to No. 14 overall in Area Development’s 2022 Top States for Doing Business rankings.
Michigan’s has a history of automotive industry success. Coupled with economic support, investment attraction and talent development make it a destination for the industry for years to come.
Learn more about how Michigan is supporting the future of mobility. Silicon Valley in Automotive.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm. An advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Spurce: Silicon Valley in Automotive