Whitmer signs auto industry mobility executive orders

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Jan. 14, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two new measures Tuesday creating the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification aimed at continuing Michigan’s leadership in the automotive industry.

    “In the state that put the world on wheels and that’s home to some of the most innovative, driven workers on the planet, we must continue to work to solidify Michigan as a global leader in mobility,” Whitmer said at the 2020 MICHAuto Summit in Detroit. 

    “That’s why we’re harnessing our resources in state government to ensure Michigan remains the go-to state to build, test, and deploy the cars of the future.”

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    The governor signed an executive directive which directs the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to create the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and creates a Chief Mobility Officer role to head this office. 

    The Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification will lead strategic mobility-related initiatives across state government, including economic development, workforce development, and infrastructure efforts.

    The governor also signed an executive order to replace the Council on Future Mobility with the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, which will be housed within the LEO.

    The Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification will advise the LEO, the governor and the legislature, providing annual recommendations on changes in state policy. 

    This announcement follows a year in which Michigan saw almost 11,000 new automotive jobs and a number of deals with automotive companies, totaling an investment of about $6.7 billion into the state.

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    Whitmer received support from a number of leaders in the automotive industry, including Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC and General Motors.

    “General Motors applauds Governor Whitmer’s measures to propel the state’s mobility leadership forward,” said GM lobbyist Brian O’Connell in a statement. 

    O’Connell adds that Michigan will continue to play a key role in GM’s commitment to advance the future of mobility, and said that the creation of the first all-electric GM assembly line, and manufacturing a variety of electric vehicles, including the self-driving Origin, were examples of that. 

    “Leveraging our capabilities and Research & Development leadership, we look forward to working with the State to create an all-electric future,” said O’Connell.

    Allison Donahue
    Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.