Economic Impact of State’s Auto Suppliers Key Topic at Annual MICHauto Legislative Reception

MICHauto’s fourth annual Supplier Fair and Legislative Reception connected more than a dozen suppliers with state lawmakers to continue the discussion on the economic impact of suppliers across the state. The reception, held May 3 at Troppo in Lansing, featured more than 50 attendees, including 25 legislators and six legislative staff members.

Suppliers at the event included American Axle & Manufacturing, BorgWarner, DENSO International America Inc., HELLA Inc., Lacks Enterprise Inc., Magna International Inc., MAHLE Industries Inc., Phoenix Contact, Shiloh Industries, and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

The evening included a presentation of MICHauto’s Legislator of the Year award to state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, for his service to the state and his ongoing commitment to Michigan’s automotive industry. Horn was a key author of legislation that supports the testing and development of autonomous and connected vehicles in Michigan.

MICHauto Names Sen. Ken Horn Legislator of the Year; American Axle’s Bill Smith Honored for Volunteerism

By Daniel Lai

MICHauto presented Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) its 2016 Legislator of the Year award at its Annual Meeting at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn this week. As chair of the Michigan Senate’s Economic Development and International Investment Committee, Horn was instrumental in the passage of a four-bill package aimed at modernizing guidelines for driverless vehicle research and operation within the state.

Senate bills 995-998, collectively known as the SAVE (Safe Autonomous Vehicles) Act, were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 9.

“Michigan, for much of its history, has been known throughout the world as the home of the automobile, and it is only appropriate that we continue to be a pioneer in the industry,” Horn said. “Data shows that more than 90 percent of auto accidents are caused because of human error. If we can remain an integral part of the development of technology to reduce these errors, I think it will be a great move for our state.”

Bill Smith, executive director of government affairs and community relations for American Axle & Manufacturing Inc., was named Volunteer of the Year for his tireless commitment to protecting, retaining and growing Michigan’s mobility and automotive industry. Smith serves on MICHauto’s steering and talent committees and has been instrumental in promoting exciting, high-paying manufacturing careers to students across the state through MICHauto’s Discover Auto program and facility tours.

“I can’t think of anything more fun than attracting new business and promoting the automotive industry in Michigan,” Smith said in accepting the award.

For Auto Industry, Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent Requires an Inclusive Company Culture