Ohio Governor John Kasich and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon made a visit to Detroit this week during the North American International Auto Show in an effort to bring U.S. automotive manufacturing to their respective states.
John Kasich said, “Contrary to popular opinion, the auto industry is getting stronger.” Ohio currently possesses the second-largest automotive industry work force in the nation behind neighboring Michigan. Home to Chrysler Group, Ford Motors and Gerneral Motors, Michigan also is the home to most of the world’s automotive parts suppliers. It is also in Michigan where government regulators are tasked with policy making in auto safety, emissions and fuel economy.
The chief engineer of Honda Research and Development in Detroit, Toshiaki Shimizu said, “People may have the wrong idea. Detroit is not becoming less important. It is more important. It remains the center of the automotive industry. We all come here because we must.”
Well aware of Michigan’s relevance, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon spoke to a number of auto executives to reach agreements that prove to be mutually beneficial. Ford committed to $1 billion over a span of four years to upgrade Ohio’s driveline manufacturing plants. Honda will invest $400 million in improvements to its Ohio facilities to prepare for the production of its new Acura NSX hybrid sports car. Chrysler will add another 1,100 jobs and invest $1.7 billion into its Jeep plants of Toledo, Ohio. GM continues to build its Chevrolet Cruze in the Lordstown, Ohio, plant and will put in another $204,000 to upgrade its Toledo transmission plant.
On his first day in office, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon assembled the Automotive Jobs Task Force to attract investments to the state. In October, Ford announced that it will spend $1.1 billion and add another 1,600 workers to assemble the Transit van alongside the F-150 Ford pickup trucks at the Kansas City, Missouri plant. GM will also invest $380 million into its Wentzville, Missouri plant, adding another 1,660 jobs as it expands assembly to include the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Nixon explains, “we are here not just to talk to the manufacturers, but also to the suppliers. As the manufacturers invest and production rises, we are asking the suppliers what we can do to help them make the investments they need to make to support this.”
[Source: Detroit News]