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eMacomb - Featured Article, Winter 2012

Macomb Auto Industry Still Driving County Economy

Those who say that manufacturing is in America’s rear view mirror had better take a look at Macomb County.

With more than 60 million square feet of manufacturing facilities at more than 3,000 locations providing 83,475 jobs in Macomb County – over 20 percent of the county’s work force – manufacturing is a key component driving the economic recovery in Macomb County.

Detroit’s Big Three recorded a stellar year for 2011, with all three posting double digit sales growth and successfully negotiating new contracts with auto workers, boosting starting pay and providing signing bonuses.

The improving health of the Big Three resulted in a billion dollar investment from Chrysler to modernize its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (home of the Chrysler 200, 200 Convertible and Dodge Avenger) and more than $900 million in investments from Ford and GM.

Given the strong presence of the Detroit automakers, and recognizing the opportunities and advantages to investing in Macomb County, the global market is taking notice. French company Faurecia invested in a new facility expected to provide 428 new jobs.

As the national economy shifts gears from the Great Recession (see note below), auto sales are forecasted to continue to grow. New car and truck sales for 2012 are expected to grow by 10 percent. This means even better times are ahead for the Macomb economy. The Center for Automotive Research predicts that the Big Three will need to fill 33,000 new jobs in Michigan by 2015 to meet demand.

The increase in demand for autos is also expected to affect demand for parts suppliers, who could potentially add 150,000 jobs nationally by 2015. Much of this growth will be focused in Michigan, which currently employs 52 percent of all auto workers in the US – a number expected to grow to two-thirds by 2015.

Michigan is motoring its way back from the recession at the second fastest pace of the 50 states according to analysis by Bloomberg. The state trails only North Dakota in economic growth.

Note: The Great Recession is a global economic crisis that began in 2007 and affected the entire world economy.  See “Great Recession: A Brief Etymology” by Catherine Rampell, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/great-recession-a-brief-etymology/

Good news about the resurging U.S. automotive industry:

Detroit automakers race to keep up with sales – Macomb Daily, 2/27/12

GM wins Top Automotive Innovator ranking for fourth consecutive quarter – Torque News, 2/3/12

ADDITIONAL INFO/RELATED LINKS

Center for Automotive Research

Michigan Manufacturers Association