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Granholm Caps Mission with Speech Highlighting Michigan's New Energy Economy, Pitches State to German Company Executives

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Megan Brown
517-335-6397

Mission to Italy, Germany lays groundwork for future investment

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today capped her overseas investment mission to Italy and Germany by highlighting Michigan’s new energy economy and job creation in a speech before 100 company leaders, government officials and members of the German press. The event was co-hosted by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and the Byrnes Institute in Stuttgart.

“This mission is about going anywhere and doing anything to bring new investment and jobs to Michigan,” Granholm said. “The overwhelmingly positive response I received from Italian and German business executives demonstrates that we have done a solid job making our case: an aggressive economic diversification strategy, a competitive business climate, and a highly skilled and highly productive workforce.”

While in Germany, the governor also made the case for Michigan in a plant tour and meetings today with executives from the Bosch Group and Daimler AG. Yesterday Granholm pitched officials from Kostal, a manufacturer of electromechanical and mechatronic products; and the Rexroth Bosch Drive and Control. Kostal is interested in a manufacturing site for patented connector products for solar, stationary battery and EV battery applications, and will make a decision soon on a U.S. location. 

The governor also connected with Dieter Zetsche while in Germany, and underscored her support for the Daimler Truck engine plant project in Redford Township. She took note of Daimler’s new joint venture with Renault Nissan and encouraged Zetsche to consider Michigan for any new investment opportunities.

Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Greg Main began their two-country investment mission April 9, encouraging companies to expand or establish their presence in Michigan. In all, the governor met with CEOs and senior leadership from 10 companies and reached dozens more during speeches in Italy at the National Association of the Automotive Industry (ANFIA) luncheon and in Germany at the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce event.

“Michigan has a great story to tell and doing so in person with C-level executives and decision-makers enables us to continue to win investment and jobs from global companies who want to benefit from the exciting things happening here,” Main said. While in Italy, the governor met with:

  • Fincantieri Marine Group LLC CEO Giuseppe Bono and other senior leadership, a global designer and manufacturer of merchant and naval vessels. Marinette Marine-Fincantieri, which operates a shipbuilding facility in Marinette, Wis., on the Michigan border adjacent to Menominee, is partnering with Lockheed Martin to win the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) contract from the Department of Defense that has the potential to create an initial 2,630 Michigan jobs in both the upper and lower peninsulas; 
  • Italian Secretary of State Stefania Craxi to discuss the importance of the Italian Consulate in Detroit;
  • Officials of Magneti Marelli, a supplier of engine, powertrain and electrical components to Fiat, who have announced they will add at least 200 jobs at an Auburn Hills location; 
  • Fiat S.p.A and Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne to thank him for his company’s past commitment to Michigan and make the case for additional investment and jobs in the future. Approximately 25 executives from Italian auto suppliers attended a National Association of the Automotive Industry luncheon where the governor highlighted Michigan’s automotive research and development strengths and diversification efforts;
  • FIAMM officials and Comec senior leaders, both leading Italian automotive suppliers.        

The tour to Italy and Germany was the governor’s tenth overseas investment mission since 2004. Her previous missions to Austria, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Japan, Jordan and Sweden have resulted in 47 companies announcing over $1.6 billion in new investment in Michigan and 12,995 (7,344 direct) jobs created and retained.

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