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A Better Partnership


Jan 2007
January 29, 2007

Warner Norcross--Driving Force Behind MICHauto

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the driving forces behind MICHauto, a new automotive accelerator that promotes Michigan as the global leader of the automotive industry.

MICHauto, which was unveiled before the opening of the recent North American Auto Show in Detroit, is designed to help Michigan grow its position as a global leader in automotive research, development and manufacturing. Attorneys from the Automotive Industry Group at the Firm spent more than 18 months working with other industry leaders to develop and launch the trade association.

Other cofounders of MICHauto, which is open to automakers, suppliers and others with an interest in the success of Michigan's auto industry, include:

  • Deloitte & Touche USA
  • Goodyear Tire
  • R.L. Polk & Co.

"Since the birth of the automotive industry, Michigan has been its undisputed global hub," explained Tom Manganello, a partner at the Firm who chairs the Automotive Industry Group. "For decades Michigan needed little more than its own momentum to maintain that position, but global competition has changed the equation."

"The focus of MICHauto is to help grow the industry in Michigan by tapping into the immense wealth of knowledge and creativity that is already at work here. While there are other trade associations that focus on one aspect of the industry, such as OESA or SAE, our aim is to embrace the automotive industry as a whole – and Michigan as its proper home."

Manganello noted that:

  • More than $38 billion in auto, truck and other transportation manufacturing occurs in Michigan each year.
  • More than $1.6 billion is spent on research and development in Michigan.
  • One in every four U.S. automotive manufacturing plants is located in Michigan.
  • More than 210 automotive technical centers are located in the state, which is also home to nearly 60 institutions of higher education that offer programs in engineering, business and technology.

Dozens of companies have already expressed interest in joining MICHauto, which is planning its inaugural meeting in the coming weeks. More information on the group is available at

"Many other trade, research and economic development organizations already have important programs that support Michigan's economy or the auto industry," Manganello said. "But MICHauto is the first to concentrate only on Michigan's automotive industry. Our focus is only automotive and only Michigan. This unique focus has been successful in other regions and, with the launch of MICHauto, it can begin to succeed in Michigan."

About the Automotive Industry Group at Warner Norcross:

Warner Norcross is the largest law firm in Michigan to focus entirely on automotive suppliers and their unique legal issues. Our Automotive Industry Group is headquartered in Metro Detroit and serves suppliers around the world. From multinational Fortune 500 companies to family-owned Tier 2s to small startups, we represent suppliers of every size and are involved in a wide range of business activities. Warner Norcross is a founding member of the MICHauto industry association and is committed to strengthening the automotive industry in the state. For more information, visit

About Warner Norcross & Judd:

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan. With more than 180 attorneys in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Warner Norcross was also named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine for the third year in a row. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of the nation's leading employment law firms by Workforce Management and as one of West Michigan's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law. For more information, visit

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