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Future of Motor City in Austrian Hands

October 22, 2009

Austrian delegation of automotive suppliers well-received in Detroit to the Motown tune “You Keep Me Hanging On”  

Things are not good in Detroit. With the declared bankruptcies of both General Motors and Chrysler, the heyday of the “Big 3” automotive industry have now become the reality of the “Detroit 3”. 2009 auto sales are predicted to be just shy of 10 million units, down from 13-16 million units in the previous two years. Yet the US automotive industry is still alive, technically strong and open for business with Austrian suppliers. This was the message that 20 plus participants received on a recent Austrian delegation visit to Detroit in the beginning of October.

As crises tend to create opportunity, the Detroit 3 are currently looking to a stronger future in which suppliers play a larger role in developing their drive train technologies. With over 30 US subsidiaries in Michigan alone, Austrian firms will continue to play a leading role in technical development for Detroit´s automotive industry.

The Austrian automotive delegation was warmly received with briefings from the University of Michigan´s Center for Automotive Research, the supplier association OESA and consultancies Price Waterhouse Coopers and Plante & Moran. Trip highlights included conversations with some of the world´s leading buyers such as GM´s purchasing chief Robert Socia.

In participating in the delegation, the following Austrian firms and organizations wish to emphasize their long-term relationship with the Detroit 3:  Austrian Business Agency , Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation, and Technology ,  Brunner Verzinkerei Brüder Bablik , Fronius International , Gantner Instruments , Magna Powertrain , Pollmann , Ing Rauch Fertigungstechnik , Rubig Heat Treatment , Stahl Judenburg GmbH , Upper Austrian Automotive Cluster , and Voestalpine Rotec GmbH .