Freep: MI's "Road to Recovery" Paved With R&D Gold
The Detroit Free Press takes its turn as hometown cheerleader, touting Michigan as the U.S. auto industry's current and future "think tank." "The state has reached a historic crossroads," Katherine Yung opines. "Even as it sheds much of the business of building cars and trucks, Michigan is quietly growing its ability to design and create the next generation of vehicles." Quietly eh? Sound kinda tenuous to me. To wit: note the word "can" in the following quote: "Experts say that even as Michigan diversifies its economy, it can grow by expanding its role as the auto industry's knowledge capital." In terms of hard facts, Sean McAlinden, vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, reckons The Wolverine State captures nearly 80% of the $16.7b spent on American automotive research and development. Buried amongst details of new investments and quotes from the happy campers who might expand their Michigan-based R&D facilities, CSM Veep Michael Robinet predicts that "basic development work for different vehicle platforms may decline." The future, then, is in "hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles." Although Yung sees Tesla's new Rochester Hills' research center as a sign of things to come, that could cut either way.
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