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Making the Case for Michigan’s Mobility Leadership at the 67th International Motor Show

The Detroit Regional Chamber traveled to Frankfurt, Germany in September for the 67th International Motor Show (IAA), one of the largest automotive shows in the world. With more than 1,100 automotive OEMs and suppliers from 39 countries exhibiting, IAA set the global stage for connected and automated driving solutions, electric mobility, and new mobility concepts for the cities of the future.

In addition to the Chamber, partners from Oakland County, Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce, and Signature Associates represented the region under the Destination Detroit brand. To maximize its target outreach, prior to attending IAA, the Chamber researched 800 companies to identify the most qualified prospects that would benefit from expanding into the U.S. market. The trip took place concurrently with an investment mission to Japan and Germany hosted by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Justin Robinson, the Chamber’s vice president of Business Attraction, said attending IAA provided a unique platform to promote Detroit and Michigan’s world-class manufacturing, automotive and mobility assets. During the week, Destination Detroit’s team met with nearly 120 automotive companies, including early-stage startup firms that are focused on innovative, new mobility technology.
Key takeaways from the show include:

  • The German automotive industry is heavily focused on vehicle electrification, exemplified by Volkswagen’s announcement to commit $84 billion in investment to electric cars and batteries by 2030.
  • The tech industry is rapidly converging with the traditional automotive industry. Companies like Facebook and IBM had major exhibits and the show featured a wide array of high-tech startups.
  • Exhibitors recognized Michigan as the epicenter of the North American industry and appreciated the pivotal role the state is playing in driving tomorrow’s automotive innovations.

Aligning with Forward Detroit’s global connectivity pillar to increase foreign direct investment and the number of international firms in the Detroit region, the Chamber and its partners have remained in contact with numerous companies from IAA that expressed immediate interest in expanding in the Southeast Michigan market.