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.

Truck of the Year finalist has Macomb County ties

The North American International Auto Show kicks off next week, and some of the highly-anticipated reveals will include the winners of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. While Car and Truck of the Year awards have been given out for more than 20 years, Utility Vehicle of the Year is a new award added this year due to the increased demand for SUVs.

2017-NAIAS-website-carousel-newest.jpgMacomb County has had a direct connection to several of the past award winners. In 2014, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray designed at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren won Car of the Year. In 2013, the Cadillac ATS also designed at the Tech Center won, and that same year, the Ram 1500 built at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Warren Truck Assembly Plant won Truck of the Year. This year, the Ford F-Series Super Duty is the contender with Macomb County ties.

The 2017 Super Duty features a new fully-boxed frame made from over 95 percent high-strength steel, conventional and gooseneck towing, and seven cameras for enhanced visibility. This full-size pickup truck incorporates military-grade aluminum alloy, resulting in a vehicle that is 350 pounds lighter. According to Ford’s website, “no other gas-powered full-size pickup delivers as much torque for jobs calling for rugged pulling power.”

And the engine that is capable of such impressive torque is made right here in Macomb County at the Ford Romeo Engine Plant. Romeo Engine opened in 1973 and is one of several Ford facilities located throughout Macomb County. The plant is more than 2 million square feet and employs 527 people.

ford-f-series_super_duty-2017-1280-0eThe North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards honor innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. The winners are determined by a group 60 professional automotive journalists who serve as judges. The process of selecting finalists began last June and included three rounds of voting. Winners will be announced Monday, Jan. 9.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty to celebrate: Macomb County driving auto industry success

NAIASind.JPGMore than 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ countries will come to Metro Detroit and attend the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this year, exposing our automakers and suppliers at the NAIAS to greater global visibility.

Macomb County has established itself as a premier location for the resurgence of the U.S. automotive industry. Last year, the county ranked third in the nation for manufacturing job growth. As the NAIAS is set to take place this month at the freshly renovated Cobo Convention Center, there is reason to celebrate.

Since 2010, through 109 separate investments greater than $1 million, the auto industry has invested more than $5.3 billion in Macomb County. These investments and commitments made in Macomb County are paying dividends for the automakers. U.S. new-car sales continued showing growth December resulting in automakers reporting their highest annual sales ever, speeding past the previous record that was set before the recession began back in 2000.

These refinements in facilities and operations have led to substantial gains in new car sales. This past year, U.S. automakers reported their highest annual sales ever, speeding past previous records that were set back in 2000. Industry analysts estimate 17.5 million vehicles were sold in 2015, surpassing the 2000 record of 17.4 million. General Motors sold 3,082,366 vehicles, for a 5 percent gain. Fiat Chrysler posted a 12.6 percent annual gain to 2,200,834, pushing their sales gain streak to 69 straight months. Ford Motor Co. also reported their best December and sold 2,603,062 vehicles in 2015.

The “Big Three” (Ford, GM, Chrysler) employ more than 35,000 individuals within Macomb County, operating 10 facilities totaling more than 25 million square feet. Overall, in Macomb County the automotive industry is made up of nearly 500 companies that employ more than 44,000 individuals.

Not only are volumes increasing, but so are car prices. According to Kelley Blue Book, estimates for the average transaction climbed $297 (0.9%) from 2014 values to $34,428.

It’s not just the “Big Three” that are on display. Many of Macomb County’s automotive companies are celebrating the event. Axalta Coating Systems of Mount Clemens, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, is the presenting sponsor of the NAIAS Charity Preview, which is consistently the largest single-night fundraiser in the United States.

At the 2015 show, 55 vehicles made their worldwide debut, bringing the total to 1,467 premieres since the show began back in 1984. As show attendance continues to grow and U.S. auto sales are expected to break their all-time annual record, the 2016 event is expected to be a massive celebration of the automotive industry.

If you have never been, this is a great year to check it out. Even the Detroit Tigers will be on hand to marvel at our region’s innovation!

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a Senior Planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business & Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.