TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says, despite efforts to diversify the state’s economy, “there is no future in Michigan that does not include a robust, dynamic, manufacturing sector.”

Granholm addresses the crowd here this morning, rattling off a list of accomplishments in attracting new investment to Michigan, as the November governor’s election approaches.

“In the state of Michigan, when it comes to this industry, some are doomsayers,” she tells the crowd. “I hope we all in this room are ‘doomslayers.’ Because in the middle of a crisis, this is the moment for us to shape a path.”

Michigan has more OEM manufacturing plants, 17, than any other state, and the 215 automotive research and development centers are more than those in all other U.S. states, plus Canada and Mexico combined, the governor says. Some 280,000 Michiganians are employed in the automotive sector.

Granholm says the results of her recent trips to Japan, one last year and one earlier this year, have resulted in 20 Japanese companies investing more than $200 million in the state, and creating 1,000 jobs.

Granholm says the December passage of a $600 million cut in personal property taxes, as well as the creation of a $2 billion “21st Century Fund” to diversify the state’s economy into the areas of life sciences; homeland security and defense; advanced manufacturing; and alternative fuels; are proof she is serious about fixing the state’s economy.

“If you are not in Michigan, and if you want to come to Michigan, we will make you a deal you can’t refuse,” she says, never missing a moment to stump for investment.

“We are going to take advantage of this global economy and not be victimized by it in this state,” she says.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com