Impact of Macomb County suppliers on display at NAIAS

With $7.37 billion worth of automotive investment in the last six years, Macomb County has established itself as the ideal place for businesses to thrive. Major automotive suppliers have chosen to locate their businesses here, invest in state-of-the-art facilities and employ thousands of workers. Their innovative technologies and products are leading the industry and are on display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

Axalta Coating Systems in Mount Clemens is a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings. They develop, manufacture and sell brilliant automotive basecoat colors and topcoats as well as corrosion protection electrocoats. They serve customers ranging from small businesses to global OEMs. In 2014 and 2015, Axalta received General Motors’ Supplier of the Year award for going above and beyond GM’s requirements, providing customers with the most innovative technologies and the industry’s best quality.

DSC_1616.JPGAs market leaders, this is the third year Axalta has chosen the automotive color of the year. After analyzing global preferences, Axalta determined the 2017 color of the year to be gallant gray – a sleek alternative to standard silver containing shades of both blue and green. Axalta invited students from Roseville High School to paint pedal cars in gallant gray which will be given away throughout the year.

“These students are getting great experience learning how to work with aftermarket paint and prepare these vehicles for a paint job,” Axalta Marketing Manager John Wray told the Detroit Free Press last week.

Gallant gray will also make an appearance at the Charity Preview, of which Axalta is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row. The ribbon cutting will feature a gallant gray ribbon and gray accents will be incorporated into the entire event. The Charity Preview will be held this Friday at Cobo Center. Last year, this lavish event raised more than $5.2 million for children’s charities, and there is no reason to doubt this year won’t be even more generous.

Magna is another impressive supplier with a presence at the auto show. Magna Seating is a foam seating production facility in Shelby Township employing 150 people. They are innovators and leaders in the development and manufacturing of high-quality seating systems, mechanism and hardware solutions, specialty mechanism solutions, seat structures and foam and trim products for the global automotive industry.

In 2015, Magna Seating won a Macomb Business Award for energy efficiency. The company has invested in LED lighting, e-waste recycling and a variable-speed drive air compressor to make their processes and 60,000-square-foot facility as efficient as possible.

The technologies and products suppliers like Axalta and Magna are designing and manufacturing have a global impact that reaches far beyond Macomb County’s borders. Yesterday, Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel got a close look at the innovation happening at these companies, and you can too by attending the NAIAS.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

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