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Advancing future-forward mobility in Detroit’s legacy automotive cluster
Brookings
2024.05.29
The Detroit region’s automotive sector is at a critical technological inflection point. After dominating global automobile production in the early half of the 20th century, the city of Detroit and its surrounding region have faced decades of steep decline. Yet in recent years, the combination of new political leadership, sustained philanthropic investments, and renewed corporate vision―with the “Big Three” automobile manufacturers committing over $6.5 billion to electric vehicle innovation―is creating new growth opportunities for the future of advanced mobility.
Evolving a legacy industry requires much more than standalone programs. This case study explores the design and implementation of GEM’s robust mobility cluster transformation strategy, which brings together entrepreneurship, technology innovation and commercialization, support to legacy manufacturers, site readiness, and workforce development. It offers lessons for other regions on how to invest in the collaborative capacity to manage comprehensive economic development strategies that stretch across multiple projects, as well as how to navigate challenges of securing active engagement from industry leaders.