Ford Motor Co., Chrysler and several automotive suppliers are the latest Michigan companies to support the state's Pure Michigan Business Connect program, Gov. Rick Snyder announced today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
"The participation of Ford, Chrysler and key suppliers in Pure Michigan Business Connect is a huge commitment to Michigan's businesses, and we thank these companies for their investments in Michigan," Snyder said. "These commitments, along with those of current members, will mean significant growth opportunities for Michigan companies.
"It's appropriate that we share this announcement during the Auto Show. The energy and excitement that always come with this world-class event give Detroit and our entire state a chance to shine. The show is a great platform for telling our story."
The commitment by Ford and Chrysler to Pure Michigan Business Connect opens the doors to millions of dollars per year in additional procurement opportunities that may not have been available previously to Michigan auto suppliers, Snyder said.
"Ford has spent more than $15 billion with Michigan suppliers over the past year," said Tony Brown, group vice president of Global Purchasing for Ford. "We expect great growth opportunities in 2013 from the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative, especially with minority, women and veteran-owned suppliers."
"With our recent announcement of a $240 million capital investment in our Mack 1 Engine Plant and the creation of 1,250 new jobs, we continue to reaffirm our commitment to Michigan," said Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of purchasing and supplier quality for Chrysler. "Our purchases from Michigan-based companies have grown substantially over the last few years, including those from minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses."
In addition, Canton-based Schuler, a Schuler AG subsidiary focused on metal stamping equipment and hydroforming, is increasing its Michigan spending by 20 percent over the next five years.
All of the participating companies will partner with Pure Michigan Business Connect to expand procurement opportunities with Michigan suppliers and to host exclusive purchaser-supplier matchmaking engagements, called "Connection Points," which are face-to-face meetings that encourage new business discussions.
Additional companies that are hosting or participating in Connection Points include General Dynamics Land Systems, Johnson Controls, American Axle, Borg Warner, and Schuler.
Pure Michigan Business Connect is an $8 billion public-private initiative that provides Michigan businesses with new ways to buy and sell, raise capital and connect with each other through an alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations.
Launched in 2011, the program includes Michigan's two largest utility companies, which have increased their procurement to Michigan businesses far beyond the original combined pledge of $100 million per year. Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have increased their original commitments to Michigan purchases and contracts by more than $800 million combined.
"These new and major corporate partners demonstrate that economic gardening can be done across the entire range of Michigan businesses. This is one way that government can help Michigan businesses to find new opportunities for growth through market-based solutions," said MEDC President and CEO Mike Finney.
Companies interested in learning more about Pure Michigan Business Connect can visit the website at www.michiganadvantage.org/Business-Connect/.
The NAIAS is open to the public Jan. 19 - 27. It is expected to draw more than 5,000 automotive journalists, representatives from 1,700 auto-related companies and more than 700,000 visitors to one of the world's premier industry events.