Friday, January 15, 2010

Granholm Talks Autos on "Morning Joe"

Governor Granholm is out there this morning, talking up those electric vehicles and battery manufacturing (did you see where A123 is going to be hiring hundreds of people in the Detroit area this year?), selling that new day in the auto industry as well as the state of Michigan. And finally we get around to trade, too...

Scarborough: "I think a lot of people have bowed at the alter of free trade to a degree that it's not even an ideology, it's a religion. I think we need to talk about this some more. And debate it."

Sounds like a plan, Joe. Hey, if Pat Buchanan is willing to help, get it all out there..

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The news that Ford is moving battery manufacturing from Mexico to Michigan is a great start. Here is a recap on the announcement they made Monday at the Auto Show:

Michigan is stealing jobs from Mexico, bucking a decades-old trend as Ford moves battery production in-house in preparation for 2011 production of the Focus Electric at the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne.


•Ford will invest $450 million in Michigan as it begins production on electric vehicles. Combined with $550 million announced in May, Ford has announced roughly $1 billion in Michigan investment this year.
•Ford estimates the investment will create approximately 1,000 jobs in Michigan
•Ford will produce the Focus Electric at the Michigan Assembly plant in 2011
•In 2012, the Michigan Assembly plant will also produce "the next generation Ford hybrid and hybrid plug-in"
•Ford will bring battery system design and development "in-house as a core competency," and move production from Mexico to Michigan
•The company will produce hybrid transaxles at the Van Dyke Transmission facility in Warren

We don't want to see this work eventually outsourced. The fact that Ford (as well as the others) chose Michigan to locate it is a good sign - but we better be prepared to protect it before some other government decides to subsidize manufacturing these batteries below cost and eats our lunch for us.

Help us out, Pat...