Study sees US Michigan state adding 100,000 jobs as auto technologies hub image

If the state acts now to meet competitive threats from other U.S. regions and emerging nations, plus established automotive powers Germany and Japan, Michigan is poised to gain up to 100,000 new jobs from advanced mobility technologies in the auto industry.

This is what a report found, issued by Business Leaders for Michigan and to be discussed in Ann Arbor at a meeting of auto industry, academic and Michigan economic development officials. BLM developed the strategy in partnership with McKinsey and the Center for Automotive Research.

“There’s a lot of growth potential in the way the industry is evolving,” said BLM President Doug Rothwell.

He was referring to the explosion in the amount of software and lightweight materials needed for the connected, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks of the next 20 years. The value of embedded software in vehicles could top $12 billion globally by 2025, up from around $2 billion today, according to the new study.

“We can’t afford to be passive about this,” Rothwell said. “A lot of other places have very focused strategies targeting this industry, especially research and development, where southeast Michigan has dominated in the past.”

That competition ranges from southern U.S. states to emerging economies like China and venture capital hubs like Silicon Valley in California. The BLM report compares the strength of southeast Michigan with competing regions in three key areas related to future mobility jobs and investment: powertrain advances, weight reduction and smart-connected vehicle technologies.