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Calley to Dutch auto suppliers: Michigan's auto industry is roaring back

Thursday, April 18, 2013

HELMOND, Netherlands - Michigan is more business-friendly than ever and eager to establish productive relationships with Dutch businesses, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said today in an address to leading automotive supplier industry executives.

"Michigan is fortunate to have several long-standing, productive relationships with Dutch companies, and to those companies, we say thank you for your commitment," Calley said. "To those of you looking to expand your global presence or enter the North American market, Michigan is the place to be. The auto industry is getting stronger every day and will produce twice the number of vehicles it did just three years ago. There are many great opportunities ahead for all of us to do more business together."

Speaking to an audience of Dutch auto suppliers, manufacturers, researchers and educators, Calley cited several examples of the recovery of Michigan's auto industry:

  • Michigan's auto production in 2012 rose to 2.26 million vehicles - its highest level since 2007.
  • Experts forecast that 2013 will see U.S. auto sales totaling 15 million units, a continued upward trajectory for the industry.  Sales will top last year's 14.5 million vehicles, and reach the highest point since 2007 nationwide. 
  • In Michigan motor vehicle and parts manufacturing employment stands at 146,600. Since August, 2010 Michigan has added over 21,000 automotive manufacturing jobs, an increase of better than 16 percent.
  • With an industry economic multiplier of 3.4, these 21,000 direct jobs supported the creation of another 71,400 jobs in Michigan's economy for a total of 92,000 jobs added to Michigan's economy.

Earlier in the day, Calley and the Michigan delegation met with executives from Inalfa Roof Systems at its headquarters in Venray to thank the company for its commitment to Michigan and make the case for additional investment and jobs in the future. Inalfa, one of the world's biggest providers of vehicle roof systems, has facilities in Auburn Hills, Grand Blanc and Warren with about 950 employees in the state.

The automotive industry in the Netherlands employs approximately 45,700 people, making it one of the main industries there.

Calley is leading a delegation of state and local officials, business leaders and economic developers on a six-day investment mission to the Netherlands. Joining Calley on the mission are Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and state Sen. Arlan Meekhof.

While in the country, he will meet with executives of financial institutions, advanced agricultural production and technology companies and host a meeting with its automotive suppliers. He will also meet with Dutch companies that have industrial, financial and agriculture facilities around the state. 

The mission was instituted by the West Michigan Global Initiative with assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., The Right Place Inc., of Grand Rapids, and Detroit Regional Chamber.

The West Michigan Global Initiative serves to facilitate the establishment of significant and long-term business, civic, and cultural relationships between the West Michigan region and the Netherlands; building on the longstanding historic cultural ties between the two communities. The WMGI also serves as the coordinating body of the Legislative Dutch Caucus, a bipartisan political association of Members of the Michigan Legislature established to foster cultural, political, and business ties between Michigan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. To learn more about the WMGI, visit

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