Automotive companies in Northwest Ohio created more than 1,600 new jobs with capital investment exceeding $1.4 billion last year. That trend has continued into 2017 with hundreds of new jobs and millions more in investment.

photo credit Joe Wilssens Photography

Understanding the significance this industry plays regionally, the Regional Growth Partnership strategically identifies ongoing opportunities to further develop this sector.

One such opportunity, an annual automotive conference in northern Michigan, has proven extremely worthwhile for the RGP and Northwest Ohio.

The Center for Automotive Research’s CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) has evolved into one of the more prominent industry shows in North America. This year’s event took place in Traverse City, Mich., attracting automotive industry leaders and visionaries who delivered thought-provoking talks about the future of the global industry.

Capitalizing on its industry successes, the RGP attended MBS to promote Northwest Ohio, build greater awareness of the regional automotive industry and further enhance relationships with industry decision makers.

A highlight for the RGP, and all attendees, was the organization’s hosting and sponsorship of Casino Night. Visitors to the RGP event at the Big Yellow Tent were welcomed to an inviting atmosphere of casino gambling (fake chips, real prizes), with lots of opportunities for fun, food and social networking.

More than 350 people attended Casino Night, this having marked the fourth straight year hosted by the RGP.

Over the course of this four-day conference, the RGP held several dozen one-on-one meetings with industry leaders discussing opportunities in Northwest Ohio. From that, three solid leads were identified, including one significant project related to the steel industry.

photo credit Joe Wilssens Photography

Moving forward, a major goal for the RGP is greater participation in the CAR show among Northwest Ohio automotive companies.

“For those involved in the automotive industry, there is not a better place in the world to meet and interact with executives, develop and nurture relationships and discuss the future of this industry,” said Gary Thompson, the RGP’s director of business development.

The 2018 CAR MBS takes place July 30-August 2, 2018, in Traverse City.