The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), happening right now at Cobo Center in Detroit with more than 50 new vehicle unveilings from 17 global auto manufacturers, is making headlines throughout the world.
Governor Rick Snyder kicked off the show on Tuesday at a press conference where he announced a partnership between the state and the University of Michigan to start the further exploration of intelligent transportation systems. The announcement was made on the heels of legislation Snyder recently signed that made Michigan the fourth state to approve testing of autonomous vehicles on state roads.
“Michigan’s automotive future is as important as its historic past, and it is just as bright,” Snyder said in his announcement. “By working together with great partners in education and the auto industry, we are strengthening our lead as the world headquarters for auto manufacturing and research and development.”
Nigel J. Francis, Michigan’s automotive advisor, touted Michigan’s strength as the undisputed automotive capital of the world when he spoke with the Detroiter Magazine about the industry’s strategies, priorities and role in implementation of economic development.
“The industry should congratulate itself on such a strong turnaround and the positive effects of that turnaround are seen today everywhere in the state,” Francis said in the article. “The automotive industry is our core industry in the state – our anchor, and our means of moving forward economically into the future.”
Other good news announced at the show came on Wednesday, when new partnerships between Ford, along with its Tier 1 suppliers, and Michigan small businesses were announced. The contracts were the result of the 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit, hosted by Ford and the MEDC last March. The summit resulted in $10.4 million in new contracts for Michigan suppliers.
With vehicle sales rising over the past four years, emphasis on performance and luxury has been just as much a focus as fuel efficiency at the NAIAS.
NBC Nightly News featured a segment on the Auto Show and how it is driving the industry forward.
General Motors had a double win: The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the North American Car of the Year and Chevrolet’s Silverado is the North American Truck of the Year.
Other debuts included the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2015 Chrysler 200, Toyota’s FT-1 sports car concept, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac ATS Coupe, Porsche 911 Targa, and more.
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