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Snyder pitches Michigan to students, feds and auto execs at Auto Show

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012

DETROIT, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder's first day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit included a full slate of meetings with auto executives, federal cabinet secretaries and engineering students from seven Michigan universities with the message that Michigan offers great opportunities for growth.

 "Michigan's unmatched assets and greatly improved business climate mean new opportunities for businesses and individuals alike," Snyder said. "We are all about building improved futures for our residents and companies, and this Auto Show is a great platform for telling our story."


Snyder toured the Auto Show floor and met with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and U.S. Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson. He also held private meetings with senior executives of many of the world's leading auto companies including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes, Toyota, and Denso.


As part of the day's events, the governor celebrated the announcement by Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) to expand its operations in Michigan by building a world class Hot/Cold Weather Dynamometer Test facility at its Superior Township location south of Ann Arbor.


The company will invest $15 million to construct the facility and add 50 full-time jobs over the next five years. The state of Michigan will fund construction of a new power substation that will improve the power output to the building.


"It's fitting that we're making this announcement among the world's newest automotive concepts and designs at the North American International Auto Show, because Hyundai's investment and growing presence here demonstrates Michigan's singular leadership in industrial engineering, research, design and technological innovation," Snyder said. "I was pleased to meet with Hyundai's senior leadership in Korea last fall and celebrate today's announcement as an endorsement of all that our state can offer a world class company."


Joining the governor in making the announcement was Dr. Cho, President of HATCI.


"This investment and promise of a Hot/Cold Weather Testing facility in Michigan reinforces Hyundai and Kia's commitment to U.S. vehicle development and American jobs," said Dr. Cho.

"Investing in our locations, products and people is critical to Hyundai and Kia's ability to compete with the best in the business. We are committed to doing everything it takes to work with its partners, including the State of Michigan, to be competitive in the marketplace."


Snyder made the announcement at the Pure Michigan exhibit which features the state's award-winning branding campaign on the Auto Show main floor for the first time in history.


Sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the display also highlights Michigan's new business friendly environment, abundant talent for advanced manufacturing and technology companies.


"Our main floor exhibit space gives us a special chance to share the Pure Michigan story with people from around the globe, and today's announcement is further proof that Michigan offers more opportunities than ever," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. "We offer much lower business taxes, a workforce unmatched anywhere and economic development tools to drive new investment and job creation."


The governor also spoke to some 300 engineering students from several Michigan universities who were participating in the first-ever Pure Michigan Collegiate Engineering Day.  Sponsored by the MEDC, the event included a tour of Detroit as well as a guided tour of the NAIAS displays.


"I hope all of the engineering students here today were paying close attention to this news because it is a clear message that good, high-paying engineering jobs are here for you in Michigan," Snyder said. "Our state is a great place to live, and we encourage you to stay here after graduation. You and your talent are key to Michigan's future."


The NAIAS is open to the public January 14 - 22. It is expected to draw more than 4,500 automotive journalists, representatives from 1,700 auto-related companies and more than 700,000 visitors to one of the world's premier industry events.


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership serving as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, focuses on helping grow Michigan's economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: