Ford Sees Green, Smart Technologies as Key to Rebuilding Michigan Economy, Making it the Silicon Valley of Mobility

  Ford Sees Green, Smart Technologies as Key to Rebuilding Michigan Economy,
                   Making it the Silicon Valley of Mobility

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., May 31, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich., May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  oFord Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford calls for implementation
    of key policy reforms to ensure Michigan's competitiveness and spur future
  oBill Ford says Michigan can become the Silicon Valley of mobility, lead
    the generation of more high-tech jobs and help solve the challenge of
    urban mobility through integration of vehicle and communications
  oFord announces Motor City Innovation Exchange, a collaboration between
    Ford Motor Company, TechShop Detroit, AutoHarvest and TechTown to
    encourage Michigan innovators and entrepreneurs; affordable work/hacker
    space and support also being offered to spur job-creating businesses

At today's Mackinac Policy Conference, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman
Bill Ford calls for key policy reform and the need to foster innovation as
critical to ensuring Michigan's competitiveness and creating new, high-tech

"While Michigan is the home of the auto industry, the trends affecting our
industry offer a great opportunity to make it the home of a variety of other
industries as well," said Bill Ford. "We are heading in the right direction to
grow Michigan by putting the right policies in place and investing in
Michigan's future."

Ford told delegates that the trends emerging in manufacturing, green
technology and mobility demonstrate a great opportunity for Michigan to create
a dynamic, diverse and growing economy that affirms the state as a global
innovation center.

Manufacturing strength
Ford discussed the need to not only diversify Michigan's economy but also
build on its manufacturing history.

"No other sector of the economy creates as many spinoff jobs as the auto
sector. For each job created in autos, nine more jobs are created to support
it," said Ford. "In the past two years, half of the new jobs that have been
created here were manufacturing-related."

Continuing to lead the green transformation
Ford also highlighted the benefits Michigan has realized by being at the
center of exciting developments in green technology, including electric
vehicles and battery innovation.

"At Ford, we have invested nearly a billion dollars to build electric vehicles
and the battery packs that power them right here in Michigan," said Ford.

"We want this technology to become a core competency for us in the 21st
century. And we are building the expertise to do that right here in our home

Addressing urban mobility
While great strides have been made with green technology, Ford also discussed
the pressures of a growing global population and the new challenge of global
gridlock – the potential that the world will face a never-ending traffic jam
that wastes time, energy and resources.

Ford outlined the company's vision to address this global challenge in the
company's Blueprint for Mobility, announced earlier this year.

He also described urban mobility as the greatest opportunity for Michigan.
Ford believes that tackling this challenge will pave a future for Michigan
akin to the birth of a new Silicon Valley.

"To address this issue, we will once again need new technologies, as well as
new ways of looking at the world," explained Ford. "We will need to view the
automobile as one element of a transportation ecosystem."

Integrating the automobile with this new transportation ecosystem will require
an incredible variety of high-tech and policy jobs, which should be based in
Michigan, he said.

"This technology is in varying stages of development and deployment, but it
promises to radically transform the experience of driving," said Ford. "As it
develops, I believe Michigan must become the Silicon Valley of the mobility

Making Michigan competitive
Ford also outlined key public policy areas that will help improve Michigan's
competitiveness and ensure that the state realizes the full benefit of the
impending mobility revolution. He called on policymakers to ensure policy was
not holding back innovation and prosperity in Michigan. Ford argued for an
updating of the state tax system by eliminating personal property taxes as
well as investment in updating the electric grid.

He noted that there are encouraging signs of progress being made, citing a
study released last fall by the TechAmerica Foundation that indicated Michigan
added more high-tech jobs than any other state between 2009 and 2010.

"We can keep this momentum going if we are frank about the areas in which we
can improve and we build upon our advantages," Ford added.

Ford also noted that Michigan needs a world-class infrastructure and that its
location on the U.S./Canada border provides Michigan with a unique advantage.
He affirmed his support for the construction of a new crossing to improve
traffic flow and reduce congestion, ensuring the timely flow of goods to
support Michigan businesses. 

Ford support for innovation
Ford Motor Company also introduced a number of ways in which it is helping to
encourage innovation in Michigan, including two new initiatives the company is
announcing today.

These include the Motor City Innovation Exchange, a collaboration between
Ford, TechShop Detroit, Wayne State University's TechTown and AutoHarvest to
help entrepreneurs commercialize their creations. The program provides a
showroom for innovators to show off their creations to peers and potential

Ford Land also announced the Jump Start Program, which offers startup suites,
including space located near TechShop, to provide flexible, discounted work
space and support for TechShop members who are ready to grow their

"All of these efforts are to encourage innovation, not just in our company,
but throughout our state," said Ford. "New ideas are a priceless resource, and
the ultimate driver of economic growth."

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company(NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

SOURCE Ford Motor Company
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