Granholm Meets in Italy with FIAT/Chrysler Group and Magneti Marelli CEOs

Monday, April 12, 2010

Also attends auto supplier luncheon, highlights state’s R&D strengths

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today continued her investment mission, meeting with Fiat S.p.A and Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne and Magneti Marelli S.p.A. President and CEO Eugenio Razelli, and the Magneti Marelli USA president and CEO, Mr. James Rosseau in Turin, Italy.  The governor thanked both companies for their past commitment to Michigan and made the case for additional investment and jobs in the future. Today’s meetings concluded the Italy portion of the mission.

“My meetings in Italy confirmed that Michigan is well-positioned to continue to win the lion’s share of investment from global companies looking to expand in the North American market,” Granholm said.  “Our competitive business climate, manufacturing strength and commitment to growing new technology sectors make Michigan the perfect place for international investment and job-creation.”

Governor Granholm and Mr. Marchionne discussed several issues, including his turn-around plan for Chrysler and the company’s electrification strategy. The governor thanked him for his recent commitment to invest $179 million in the company’s Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance engine plant in Dundee, expected to create 155 new jobs, and congratulated him on the opening of the company’s $730 million engine plant in Trenton, which will employ 500 at full capacity.

In January, the governor announced that Magneti Marelli, a subsidiary of Fiat Holdings, will invest $4.5 million to consolidate and expand its Michigan operations and create 200 new jobs. The governor thanked Mr. Razelli for choosing Michigan over Tennessee and North Carolina and explored opportunities to attract additional FIAT suppliers to the state.

Between the company meetings, the governor addressed approximately 25 executives from Italian auto suppliers at the National Association of the Automotive Industry (ANFIA) luncheon where she highlighted Michigan’s automotive research and development strengths and diversification efforts.

Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Greg Main are in Italy and Germany April 9-15 to encourage companies to expand or establish their presence in Michigan.

“Companies that want to invest in North America now see Michigan as a state with an aggressive economic plan that can help them thrive,” Main said.  “The opportunity to meet face-to-face with CEOs and pitch Michigan will have very positive near- and long-term effects.”

While in Italy, the governor met with CEO Giuseppe Bono and other senior leadership of Fincantieri Marine Group LLC, a global designer and manufacturer of merchant and naval vessels.  Marinette Marine-Fincantieri, which operates a shipbuilding facility in Marinette, Wisconsin, 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. The governor also met with Italian Secretary of State Stefania Craxi to discuss the importance of the Italian Consulate in Detroit. 

In Germany, meetings are scheduled with executives from various divisions of the Bosch group; MITEC AG, a global auto propulsion technology company; Kostal, a manufacturer of electromechanical and mechatronic products; and Daimler. Approximately 100 company officials, government leaders and members of the German press are expected to attend a reception in Stuttgart co-hosted by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and the Byrnes Institute where the governor will discuss Michigan’s focus on clean-energy manufacturing and jobs. 

This trip to Italy and Germany is 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.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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