DETROIT — Two of the largest automotive seating suppliers are building out new plants here and looking for new opportunities to capture more business from automakers increasingly conscious of their spending with minority-owned companies.
Magna International Inc. formed a joint venture with LAN Manufacturing Group called LM Manufacturing, which plans to open a plant in southwest Detroit next year to make seats for Ford Motor Co. light trucks.
On the city's east side, Lear Corp. is expected to open its plant at the former Cadillac Stamping site this year to make seats for General Motors and is exploring a joint venture.
"It's competition, in one word," said Michelle Sourie Robinson, CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, which certifies minority companies and joint ventures. "They're all trying to prove that they have the greatest competitive advantage and can do that work and provide the most value to the customer, and [minority certification] actually just adds to that level of value."