A group in the Great Lakes region wants to learn how to slow the trend of automakers and suppliers investing billions in the South.
The industry-heavy states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, along with the Canadian province of Ontario, have banded together as the Automotive Communities Program for a research project to study what the South is doing right and the North is doing wrong.
"The major question we're faced with is: Is the South a different business climate that's suddenly liked better than ours?" says the group's director Sean McAlinden, who also is director of the economics and business group for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The group particularly wants to understand how other states are using financial incentives and how they could be used more effectively in the upper Midwest.
It meets to discuss the issue today, Aug. 4, during the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
At least $25 billion in capital investment from the auto industry has flowed into the South during the past 10 years, according to data gathered by the Automotive Communities Program. That investment has translated into more than 89,000 jobs - jobs that many northern communities believe have dropped from their tax roles.