More MBS CoverageTRAVERSE CITY, MI – If you could put Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s energy and enthusiasm in a fuel tank, the state already would be the alternative fuel capital of world.

Granholm started out Wednesday’s program here with an effusive monologue on her plans to revitalize the state’s flagging economy and prestige in the automotive world.

While acknowledging the state does need to diversify its economy, she emphasizes that automotive still is the most important industry for Michigan’s future.

“The automobile as a product is not going away,” she says.

She adds the density of the region’s technical talent and resources can be used to dovetail into new industries and technologies, both automotive and non-automotive.

“We want Michigan to be the state that makes (the U.S.) independent from foreign oil,” she says.

Michigan is unmatched in the density and depth of technical expertise and resources that are available, she says, and points out the state has more research and development centers than any other region in the world.

Numerous technologies being developed here for automobiles, such as electronic sensors, have cross applications with other industries, she says, adding, “This is where all of that should be developed.”

dwinter@primediabusiness.com