The state of Michigan’s auto industry - WNEM TV 5

The state of Michigan’s auto industry

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

In Michigan vehicles aren’t just a way to get around, they’re a way of life.

Automotive manufacturing supports thousands of jobs all across the state and we’re getting an update on the health of that industry.

“The auto industry nationally is healthy,” said Tim Nash, from Northwood University. “It’s even more healthy in Michigan.”

Nash knows the auto industry bumper to bumper. He is an auto Industry expert at Northwood University. He co-authored the school’s latest automotive industry report. Nash said the auto industry, that was hit hard by the great recession, is starting to recover.

“We added about 5,000 jobs this past year in Michigan and over half of those were in the auto industry,” Nash said.

According to the report, in 2016 there were

  • 944,000 auto-related jobs, representing 20 percent of the state’s workforce
  • $30 billion in auto sales and maintenance
  • 645,000 new cars sold
  • 611 new car dealerships were open. That’s nearly double the national average of dealerships per state.

So what will it take to keep the state’s auto industry moving in the right direction? Nash has some ideas.

“Michigan and the states can’t do much more than they’ve done,” Nash said. “We have to have pro-growth tax reform at the national level.”

Nash believes President Donald Trump has to find a way to get Congress to pass business-friendly tax reform. If not, Michigan’s smooth ride to economic recovery could hit a few speed bumps.

“If we can’t get that I would suggest that the economic recovery that we are in instead of speeding up with tax reform, we’ll begin to decline,” Nash said. “And that will be bad for the auto industry and that will be bad for the state of Michigan.”

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