TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Four state governors today announced the formation of a bipartisan caucus to create initiatives and policies to aid growth in the nation's largest manufacturing industry.
Initial founders of the National Governors Auto Caucus are Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Democratic Govs. Jay Nixon of Missouri and Pat Quinn of Illinois. The caucus will be open to all states, the group said in a press release.
The caucus, announced here at the Center for Automotive Research's 2012 Management Briefing Seminars, is meant to curtail competition among states and emphasize collaboration, Snyder said.
"Michigan has a proud heritage. Detroit put the world on wheels," Snyder said in a statement. "As governors, we can be even stronger working together and sharing ideas and programs that have proved successful."
At the panel, Snyder said the caucus will put a strong emphasis on developing talent for the industry and increasing employment. The U.S. auto industry employs roughly 8 million and generates $70 billion in tax revenue around the U.S.
Michigan has nearly 80,000 job openings, many in automotive, Snyder said.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- a trade group representing Detroit's automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz AG and six others -- supported development of the caucus.