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New Co-Chairs of Michigan’s Automotive Caucus Prioritize Future of State’s Signature Industry

DETROIT, Mich., January 15, 2019 – Today, the Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus announced the new co-chairs for the 2019-20 legislative session as Rep. Jim Lilly (R-Park Twp), Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), and Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City).

The announcement was made as legislators attended the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) preview week with representatives of the state’s automotive and mobility industry at a meeting convened by MICHauto, Michigan’s only automotive cluster association.

“For over a century, Michigan’s automotive industry has undoubtedly shaped the global economy along with how people engage with one another,” said Rep. Tate. “I am thrilled to be working with my esteemed co-chairs, and there is no more appropriate place for us to announce this renewed focus than at NAIAS as we celebrate the legacy and the future of this storied relationship between Detroit and the automobile.”

The incoming leadership represents a diversity of experience and geographical representation of Michigan’s automotive industry and the communities so closely tied to it.

“This issue is incredibly timely and relevant to our priorities as a legislature. Our automotive industry touches every corner of the state and reaches well beyond the assembly line and manufacturing floor in terms of jobs and economic impact,” said Sen. Schmidt. “Whether it be raw materials mined in the north and shipped on our Great Lakes, advanced manufacturing in West Michigan, or testing the latest innovation at the American Center for Mobility, a strong automotive industry means a strong Michigan.”

Founded in 2015, the Auto Caucus is dedicated to ensuring Michigan’s business climate remains competitive and supports the state’s global leadership in next-generation mobility technology and its signature industry. Since its formation, the Caucus has taken a leadership role in defining policy such as the SAVE Act legislation put in place in 2016 to establish regulations for the testing, use and the eventual sale of autonomous vehicle legislation.

“My colleagues and I are dedicated to ensuring our state addresses key challenges in terms of stakeholder engagement and infrastructure improvement,” said Sen. McMorrow. “I look forward to bringing my years of experience in and around the automotive industry to the table to ensure Michigan stays well-positioned to lead the nation in the development and deployment of electrification and connected and autonomous vehicles.”

The co-chairs will be spending the upcoming weeks educating new legislators on the caucus and solidify membership before holding their first meeting of the new legislative session, which is tentatively expected to be held in February.

“As a caucus, we look forward to announcing an ambitious schedule of education opportunities, site visits, and policy priorities for our colleagues in the legislature,” said Rep. Lilly. “We will be looking to collaborate with our partners in the automotive and energy industries as well as state and federal regulators to ensure that Michigan remains the automotive and mobility capital of the world.”

The new co-chairs succeed Sen. Steven Bieda (D-Warren), Sen. Mike Kowall (R-White Lake), Rep. Michael McCready (R-Bloomfield Hills), and Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor), all of whom were termed out of their respective offices at the end of the 2017-18 legislative session.

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About Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus

The Michigan Legislative Automotive Caucus is a bi-partisan, bi-cameral group of legislators from across Michigan focused on the future success of the state’s automotive industry. The Auto Caucus is committed to ensuring Michigan provides the competitive climate to remain the global automotive capital through their support of relevant policy priorities and working in partnership with Michigan’s business, philanthropic, and regulatory communities.

About MICHauto

MICHauto, Michigan’s only automotive cluster association, is a statewide economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber. Dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive and next-generation mobility industry in Michigan, MICHauto embodies a public-private strategy, championing Michigan as the global epicenter of the automotive industry and providing a platform for collaboration on advocacy, business attraction and retention, and talent attraction. To learn more, visit MICHauto.org.