Exploring the Mobility & Automotive Industry Cluster


CLUSTER INTRO: The Detroit Regional Partnership’s (DRP) seven-industry cluster program received the C2ER Research Award for Project Impact in its first year. In keeping with current industry trends, data for each cluster is being updated and re-launched on the DRP website. The DRP’s Mobility and Automotive industry cluster has two targeted sub-clusters; Automotive Manufacturing and Mobility Technology, with a focus on electrification and battery manufacturing in 2021.

AUTO PRODUCTION: Globally the Detroit Region is known as the birthplace of the automobile. Its moniker as the Motor City remains while gearing to put the world on wheels. Consequently, the Detroit Region ranks as the top location in North America for vehicle production, manufacturing more than 1.6 million vehicles in 2020. The region is home to more than 200,000 assemblers and production talent, which the Detroit MSA ranks top in the United States for total talent and lowest turnover rate. From 2009-2019, the region received a steady stream of automotive investments that significantly outpaced other states, at $41.6 billion.

MOBILITY: The institutional knowledge in the region, since the founding of the automotive assembly line, has provided the landscape for the future of mobility to grow here. There’s nearly 90,000 engineers and technicians in the region (70% of the state’s total) and the Detroit MSA ranks second for total engineering talent and concentration. The state receives nearly 70% ($15.8 billion) of the nation’s total automotive research and development funding, 2018. As well as having the increasing infrastructure to support next generation mobility. Michigan ranks as the top state for connected vehicles – largest U.S. V2I (Vehcile-2-Infrastructure) technology roadway at 600 miles, more than 120 miles of technology-enabled smart corridors, and 6,000 ITS devices.

EV/BATTERY: This has allowed the Detroit Region to be on the forefront of electrification and battery manufacturing. There are four electric vehicles produced in the region as of 2021, which have an average range of 260 miles. In the region there’s been a variety of recent announcements to expand and/or invest in EV production here from major OEMs, mobility startups, and the broader automotive ecosystem. Michigan also has more than 14,000 PHEV’s and 11,000 electric vehicles registered with the state, which is higher than the U.S. state average. Also, there’s an estimated 2,400 electric vehicle charging stations throughout Michigan with a variety of high-power/public options and incentives available. The electrification growth is being fueled by the hub of battery manufacturing occurring in the Detroit Region, one-third of all U.S. battery production and development facilities are in Michigan (nine total).

CONNECT: To highlight how the region is the epicenter of automotive manufacturing and mobility technology, DRP has created an interactive story map along with a business case PDF. Visit both to learn more about the Mobility & Automotive industry cluster, as well as connect with DRP for your local partner to explore and expand in the 11-county Detroit Region.

Business Case PDF

Story Map