A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Could Michigan be making a comeback?

The US state of Michigan, home to the Detroit motor industry, is stepping up a campaign to attract foreign automotive investment as it seeks to reverse a flight of plants and jobs to the southern US and Canada.

Jennifer Granholm, the state's governor, has announced several ventures since returning last week from a trip to Japan and Germany. For instance, two Japanese parts makers, Denso and Tokai Rika, plan to spend $86m on expanding their operations in Michigan.

'We're seeing interest now where five years ago that would not have been the case,' Ms Granholm said. She cited Michigan's pool of skilled labour, comparing it with shortages in some southern US states. Toyota has recruited workers in Michigan for a truck plant currently under construction in Texas.

[Looks like you might have some blue-staters coming your way RT]

With a heavily-unionised workforce, Michigan has failed to win any of the Asian and European car plants built in North America over the past two decades. The state's unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent in June, against a national average of 5 per cent.

More vehicles were built in the Canadian province of Ontario last year than in Michigan. The chief executive of one parts supplier, based in Windsor, Ontario, said he was attracted to Canada by a multicultural workforce, helping open up export markets in India and other parts of Asia.

Michigan is especially keen to encourage investment in automotive research, design and engineering. The state scored a significant victory this year when Toyota decided to build a $150m research and development centre near Ann Arbor, Michigan, partly because of tax and other incentives.

BorgWarner, a big US parts supplier, moved its head office from Chicago to suburban Detroit earlier this year.


Blogger Redneck Texan said...

There are as many blue-staters in Texas as there are Illegal aliens.

That is a primary catalyst for our economy exceeding the national average, and it fuels our perpetual housing and construction boom.

Does Michigan have a state income tax? Thats one reason Modano stayed here even though Boston was offering more money.

I like your new title graphics....I get mine HERE.

8/05/2005 04:58:00 AM  

Blogger Redneck Texan said...

btw....thanks for showing me how to center images, with the "center tag" outside of the image tags.

I had been trying to do it with align="center" inside the image tag itself and it never worked for me.

8/05/2005 05:15:00 AM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Cool! Thanks for the tip. I downloaded a trial version of webstyle 4 to make my graphics - it's a decent program, but certainly nothing spectacular. I definitely wasn't planning on buying it. Now I have a free graphics generator on the web.

It's fun to play with graphics, but I have to resist the urge, as my blog will get cluttered again. Simplicity is the key to an aesthetically pleasing and fast-loading blog. I also made some buttons up for my list headers, but I think I'll stick with the plain text. As to the lists themselves, I'll probably clean them up and re-jig them over the weekend. Must say I dig the graphics on RR.

I found out early on that alt="center" doesn't seem to work, and alt="left" and "right" work best when there's text next to the pic. If you've got anything standing alone, simple tags usually work best.

As you may have noticed, I'm also playing with discussion format. As before (since I didn't have much time to write my own stuff) I just posted articles (ala RR), but those were getting too long, with little response - there were too many of them too, especially with all of the interesting things I thought I could generate discussion with. Then I posted pieces of articles, but that got too long too.

Now I've decided to post my own thoughts in a sentence or two, along with a link to the particular article that inspired those thoughts. People can choose to read the article or no, and comment on what they choose. My fear now is that there's too much info in one post - but the thoughts are too small to devote a whole post to them.

And yes, Michigan has an income tax.

8/05/2005 10:10:00 AM  

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