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Granholm Promotes Michigan's R&D and Alternative Energy Innovation at Auto Show

Governor Jennifer M Granholm today toured the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit and hosted a reception for auto industry leaders to spotlight the state's technological innovations in automotive and alternative energy research and development. Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO Jim Epolito joined her in the day's events.

"Michigan is the global center for automotive R&D, and we are growing this base into the nation's alternative energy capital," Granholm said. "Equally as important as the stars of this auto show are the exciting new design concepts and the technology in those vehicles that will free us from our dependence on foreign oil."

During the 90-minute tour, Granholm and Epolito met with top corporate officials of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and China-based Changfeng Motors.

Granholm emphasized that Michigan is already working aggressively to attract alternative energy companies to the state through the $2 billion, 21st Century Jobs Fund, an aggressive business marketing campaign, and by offering new incentives to encourage Michigan companies to develop and produce new technologies that will lead to the next generation of cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles.

The Governor noted that Michigan is home to the greatest concentration of automotive talent in the world, with more than 65,000 professionals employed in more than 275 R&D facilities that invest over $10 billion annually.

"Michigan can and will be the nation's leader in alternative energy technology," said Epolito. "Companies are already choosing us to be their partners in growth, and we are aggressively encouraging other companies to do the same. Michigan is the perfect place for growth. We have the talent, the business climate, and the automotive foundation to build upon - we can give every business the upper hand in their success."

The MEDC exhibit promotes Michigan's R&D strengths and its goal to become the U.S. leader of alternative energy technology. It features 12 companies that have already chosen to locate and grow in Michigan. Six are leading-edge auto suppliers, and six illustrate the state's deep and diverse capabilities to lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

The 12 featured company success stories highlighted in the display include:
  • Adaptive Materials of Ann Arbor
  • American Electric Vehicle Co., Ferndale
  • Cobasys, Orion
  • EnTire Solutions, Farmington Hills
  • FANUC Robotics, Rochester Hills
  • Gentex, Zeeland
  • Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, Dundee
  • Global Hybrid Development Team in Troy
  • Karmann USA, Plymouth
  • NextEnergy, Detroit
  • Noble Polymers, Grand Rapids
  • Tellurex, Traverse City

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