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Detroit’s bright future for mobility

Jan 30, 2019

From Kevin Johnson, President and CEO

Detroit is poised to again become the world’s preeminent automotive center of excellence.

But, to riff on a familiar tag line, this isn’t your father’s auto industry. Throughout Southeastern Michigan, companies are clustering to form new solutions to unlock the true potential of mobility. These new solutions will lessen our impact on the planet and provide people with new and creative ways to get from one destination to another, safely and even hands-free.

Nowhere was the mobility revolution more evident than at the North American International Auto Show, held earlier this month. In the heart of downtown, Detroit showcased the many possibilities available for future transportation with autonomous and electric vehicles. I had the opportunity to visit Cobo Center to see firsthand just how close the future is with concept and production vehicles using advanced electronics and alternative propulsion systems. I was amazed by breakthroughs in voice recognition systems, self-driving assist, 5G and electric-powered supercars. As a self-proclaimed car enthusiast, I was fascinated by both the vehicles yet-to-be, as well as those available right now.

While it’s true that there is a level of uncertainty about 2019 vehicle sales, there is no doubt as to Detroit’s role in shaping the future of mobility. We are the landing place for early-stage and established mobility companies, thanks to our growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs and tech giants. Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft are all present in Detroit, empowering a technology culture driving advancements in mobility, as well as other industry sectors such as financial services and advanced manufacturing.

Today, Detroit boasts the largest and fastest growing engineering workforce in the nation. Michigan’s overall tech industry is third only to California and Texas, thanks to the assets of the region. That includes Mcity, the American Center for Mobility and the University Research Corridor, which ranks among the nation’s most respected innovation clusters.

I believe the industry’s forefathers would be proud to walk the floor of the next Detroit Auto Show, being held Summer, 2020. They might not recognize the vehicles on display or even the technology behind them but I’m certain they’d respect the ingenuity, dedication, grit and continued leadership of the people of Detroit.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced that starting in 2020 the show would make a transformational move to June, beginning the week of June 8th. 

Three things you should know about the DEGC:

  1. Kevin Johnson will be joining that DBusiness Breakfast Series to discuss progress and plans for The District Detroit on Feb. 5.
  2. Motor City Match Round 16 and Motor City Re-Store Round 7 applications will open March 1 through April 1.
  3. Motor City Match awardee, Flamingo Vintage will be celebrating their grand opening on Mar. 12.

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