Tag Archives: General Motors

GM Reports Record Full-Year Earnings Per Share

DETROIT — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) Tuesday announced record full-year 2016 results driven by strong retail demand for full-size trucks and SUVs in the United States, continued industry growth in China and effective cost performance across the globe.

The company reported revenue of $166.4 billion for the year, a record, up 9.2 percent from 2015. Net income for the year was $9.43 billion, down from $9.69 billion in 2015. Earnings per share was $6, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier, also a record, up from $5.91 a share in 2015, based on more shares outstanding in 2015.

For the fourth quarter, revenue was also a record, $43.9 billion, up 10.8 percent from a year earlier. Net income was $1.84 billion or $1.19 a share, down from $6.27 billion or $3.92 a share a year earlier. Last year’s net income was aided by a one-time, $4 billion tax gain.

Based on GM North America’s 2016 financial performance, approximately 52,000 eligible GM U.S. hourly employees will receive up to a maximum profit sharing payout of $12,000.

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Michigan Tech Boosts Engine Research For Auto Industry

HOUGHTON — The auto industry tends to be fiercely competitive.  So what would bring multiple companies together on research projects?

How about the chance to direct the nature of the research and having access to the engineers, scientists and students doing it — and the final results?

That’s what Michigan Technological University’s new Light Duty Engine Consortium is offering, and three industry leaders have been quick to jump on board.

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Former GM Land In Lansing To Be Rebuilt As Auto Hub

LANSING — RACER Trust, the company charged with selling off assets of pre-bankruptcy General Motors, announced an agreement to sell nearly 260 acres of industrial land in Lansing, Lansing Township and Delta Township.

The buyer, NorthPoint Development, plans to build a mix of warehouse, manufacturing and distribution buildings on the land, primarily for companies in the automotive sector.

Riverside, Mo.-based NorthPoint has developed and is managing more than 28 million square feet of industrial property in eight states.

“NorthPoint Development has rapidly emerged as a national leader in the construction of facilities that play an important role in the making and moving of critical supply- chain components,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “NorthPoint projects have resulted in hundreds of jobs and created new economic vitality and opportunities for a growing number of communities. We’re excited by the vision NorthPoint has for our Lansing-area properties, and to know that the redevelopment of these properties will be in such capable hands.”

The purchase agreements between RACER Trust and NorthPoint cover all of RACER’s Lansing-area properties, known as Lansing Plants 2, 3, 5 and 6. The Plants 2 and 3 properties are in Lansing Township, the Plant 5 property is in Delta Township and the Plant 6 property is in Lansing. Together, the properties comprise 259.6 acres. There will be an extended period in which NorthPoint undertakes due diligence and planning and seeks approvals for its projects before the sales close and construction begins.

NorthPoint previously purchased RACER Trust properties in Kansas City, Kan., and Lordstown, Ohio, also for development as manufacturing-related centers.

Said Chad Meyer, president and COO of NorthPoint Development: “We’ve long recognized the potential of these properties for redevelopment and reuse and we look forward to working with community partners and industrial users who can benefit from the strong infrastructure, logistics advantages and strong workforce the area has to offer.”

All development activity will be coordinated with ongoing environmental cleanup, which remains the responsibility of RACER Trust under the oversight of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. RACER Trust will work closely with NorthPoint to integrate remediation work with site development.

More at http://www.racertrust.org and http://beyondthecontract.com.

Kick Off 2016 With An ESD Tech Tour

SOUTHFIELD — The beating heart of the electric grid. The world’s most advanced automotive powertrain laboratory. A $700 million investment in the world’s most advanced nuclear science. And a look at the guts of the Internet.

It’s all on tap for members of The Engineering Society of Detroit in the first two months of 2016, as ESD kicks off the New Year with four terrific members-only tours.

The tour calendar begins Thursday, Jan. 14 with a tour of the ITC Holdings Corp. Operations Control Room in Novi.

Come and see the control room that monitors the electric grid for millions of Americans — and learn about ITC’s efforts to make the electric grid more reliable, safe, secure and flexible.

The Operations Control Room (OCR) is the heartbeat of ITC’s operations. It has employees working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure the ITC systems in Michigan, the Midwest and the Great Plains are maintained and operated safely and reliably. Each employee station in the OCR has a monitor dedicated to the local news and weather to understand what’s happening in their respective regions.

The tour begins at 2 p.m. with registration and networking, with the tour from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The tour will begin in the south auditorium of ITC Holdings, 27175 Energy Way in Novi.

Next, on Thursday, Jan. 21, it’s a tour of the General Motors Co. powertrain research and development laboratory in Pontiac.

See the laboratory that produces some of the world’s most advanced automotive powertrains on this exclusive tour. It begins with registration at 1:30 p.m. and the tour from 2 ro 4 p.m.

Next, on Thursday, Feb. 4, it’s an inside peek at the newest research center at the nation’s No. 1 school for nuclear physics, Michigan State University — the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

ESD toured Michigan State University’s Cyclotron Laboratory last winter. Now, after a year of construction work, we’ll be looking at its replacement – the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a $730 million center for national nuclear physics research. Wear sturdy shoes and cold-weather gear — this is a hard-hat tour of construction as much as 40 feet underground through huge concrete chambers, where atomic nuclei will be accelerated to half the speed of light for nuclear research beginning in 2022. Tour is limited to 20 people.

The tour begins with registration at 2:30 p.m. with the tour from 3 to 4 p.m. The FRIB is located at 640 S. Shaw Lane in East Lansing.

Particle accelerators are among the highest forms of high-tech. They use magnets and high voltage to accelerate atoms close to the speed of light, and force them into collisions with a variety of materials and other particles. The resulting debris can produce clues to conditions of the early universe, shortly after the Big Bang. Accelerators also produce rare isotopes that are extremely valuable in medical imaging and other experimentation.

Due to national regulations, there are restrictions on the tour for citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria; contact ESD for details.

Finally, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, ESD will tour the data center of connectivity provider 123.Net at 24700 Northwestern Highway in Southfield.

This tour begins with registration at 3 p.m., with the tour running from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Despite all the conversation about “virtualization,” the internet is, in fact, a very tangible thing. At 123.Net, participants will see one of the state’s most connected buildings, a place where a massive data center connects to a state-wide fiber network and numerous wireless Points of Presence. The building is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, and sits on top of Michigan’s most connected intersection — M-10 (the Lodge Freeway), 10 Mile Road and Evergreen Road.

All ESD tours are members only. The cost of each tour is $25 for ESD members; non-members can join ESD for $75 (a 25% discount) and attend the tour for free. (This offer is for new, first-time members only.)

To register, visit the events section of http://www.esd.org, or call (248) 353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.

State OKs GM Tax Break Changes, Biz Aid, Incubator RFP

LANSING — At its final meeting of 2015, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved an undisclosed cap on tax credits owed to General Motors, as well as , several business expansions and community revitalization projects, support for entrepreneurship, and two Pure Michigan sponsorship agreements.

MSF also made administrative changes aimed at improving efficiencies between the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The agreement with GM settles the state’s defunct tax credit program with General Motors. That amended agreement includes GM’s plan for a $1 billion capital investment in the state by the end of 2029.

Earlier the state approved agreements with the other two members of the Detroit Three — Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler. Those amounts were released — Ford can qualify for up to $2.3 billion in tax breaks, FCA $1.9 billion. In February, MEDC estimated the value of GM’s state tax breaks at $2.1 billion.

The state said GM will be required to repay a portion of previously issued tax credits if it does not achieve its new projected investment by Dec. 31, 2029. As part of the agreement, GM will provide periodic forecasts of its estimated tax credits to the state to assist the MSF and state of Michigan in budget planning.

Other deals approved included:

* A $500,000 grant to Invenergy Thermal Development LLC to assist in the development of a 280-megawatt power plant at Cliffs Natural Resources’ mining operations in the city of Palmer in Marquette County. Invenergy plans to build the plant in time to replace the Marquette Presque Isle Power Plant before it closes and is proceeding with initial development of the project.
* A Designated Renaissance Zone for an expansion of the Detroit campus of Sakthi Automotive Group USA Inc., a division of India’s Sakthi Group. The company supplies steering knuckles, control arms, brake drums, brake discs, hubs, brake calipers and more to the auto industry. In April 2015, MSF approved the project for a $3.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The project is expected to generate $31.8 million in private investment and create 350 jobs in the city of Detroit.
* A $1 million Community Development Block Grant for the rehabilitation of the Dilworth Hotel in downtown Boyne City. The historic building will be renovated and restored to its historic use as a hotel and restaurant. The project will generate a total capital investment of $9.8 million and create 30 jobs. The city of Boyne City is anticipated to make a contribution of $700,000 through the city’s Local Building Redevelopment Incentives Program. In addition, MSF approved $253,884 in local and school tax capture for the Charlevoix County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site, including lead and asbestos abatement and interior demolition.
* $1,773,700 ni Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation to Offsite Lake Drive L.L.C., which plans to redevelop the historic Kingsley Building in the Uptown Corridor Improvement District of Grand Rapids. The project will include a significant overhaul of the building’s interior and exterior, resulting in 41 residential units, live-work space and a multilevel parking deck. The project will generate a total capital investment of more than $11.3 million and create two full-time jobs. Grand Rapids has approved an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $965,892. In addition, MSF approved $1,648,060 in local and school tax capture for the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site.

The MSF board also approved a one-year extension and $2.3 million in continued funding for two programs of the University Technology Acceleration and Commercialization Program. The UTACP, approved by MSF in 2011, was established to invest in university-business partnerships focused on collaboration, commercialization, economic growth and job creation.

The two programs selected for continuation are:
T3N ($1 million) – A collaboration of seven universities supporting mentors in residence and postdocs towards the commercialization of university projects into licenses and/or startup companies. Since its inception in 2011, the program has created more than 200 jobs, started 38 new companies, attracted more than $28 million in follow-on funding, signed 37 licenses and commercialized several products.
MCRN ($1.3 million) – A collaboration of six universities supporting the collaboration of small companies with public universities in Michigan. The support includes matching funds for new projects, interns and a research portal. Since 2011, the program has created more than 300 jobs, served more than 300 companies, and attracted more than $56 million in follow-on funding.

MSF also approved the Business Incubator Programs Request for Proposals to solicit ideas from high-performance business incubators or accelerators in Michigan to support entrepreneurs in launching and growing start-up technology companies throughout the state.

Proposals must be submitted to the MSF electronically to contractsandgrants@michigan.org by Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at 3 p.m. Proposals will not be accepted via U.S. Mail or any other delivery method. Prospective bidders may submit questions regarding the RFP via email by Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. to contractsandgrants@michigan.org. The MSF will not respond to questions that are not received by the above date and time. In addition, questions that are phoned, faxed or sent through regular mail will not be accepted. Responses to all qualifying questions will be posted on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 by close of business on the MSF’s website, http://www.michiganbusiness.org/public-notices-rfps/.

The full RFP is available at http://www.michiganbusiness.org/public-notices-rfps/.

The MSF also approved a three-year partnership with the Detroit Tigers at $325,000 a year. Pure Michigan has partnered with the Tigers since 2012 with a focus on attracting new visitors to Michigan by brand integration within Comerica Park. More than 2.7 million fans attended a game at Comerica Park last year, with more than 27 million viewers.

Also, the MSF approved $700,000 for fiscal year 2016 and $725,000 for fiscal year 2017 to execute two one-year extensions of the Pure Michigan 400 sponsorship agreement. Pure Michigan has partnered with Michigan International Speedway to sponsor the Pure Michigan 400 since 2011, with a focus on attracting new visitors to Michigan and showcasing Michigan’s leisure travel assets from car culture and outdoor recreation.

MSF approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Michigan Strategic Fund, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Housing Development Authority that will realign all community development field staff from MSHDA to MSF under the umbrella of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 92,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

LG Chem Holland Workforce Doubles To 300

HOLLAND — The Holland plant of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem says it has doubled its workforce to more than 300 employees since its first commercial shipments of automotive batteries 23 months ago.

LG Chem and General Motors also announced this week a partnership across multiple GM lines for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Tomorrow’s Transportation Connected, Shared, Says LTU Symposium

SOUTHFIELD — A capacity crowd of more than 300 heard about the future of transportation Tuesday night at the third annual installment of Lawrence Technological University President’s Symposium Series, “Exploring the Role of Technology in Solving Transportation Issues.”

Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation — who is also a Lawrence Tech graduate and a board member of The Engineering Society of Detroit — moderated a panel of experts who offered a fascinating glimpse at the connected, greener, safer, more shared future of mobility.

Steudle said the Michigan Mobility Initiative has united the MDOT, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., MichAuto, the Michigan University Research Corridor and Business Leaders for Michigan in an effort to create test sites for connected and automated vehicles of the future.

Among them are Mcity, the University of Michigan’s autonomous vehicle test village, and Smart Corridors, 125 miles of test highways for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, including sections of I-94, I-696 and US-23. The corridor will test having the roads talk to cars and vice versa, exchanging information like red light violation warnings, work zone warnings, weather and pavement conditions.

There are also advances in providing truckers information on where to park to take required breaks, and truck platooning, using technology to create safe “trains” of closely following trucks.

“There are 450 companies in southeast Michigan that are in automotive R&D,” Steudle said. “That’s more than the rest of the world combined. This is the home of the auto industry. This is the place that put the world on wheels. And it is the place that is going to reinvent how we move.”

Summed up Steudle: “The future looks very interesting. It looks differnet. It looks connected. It’s more automated. It’s multi modal.”

Dr. Jay Baron, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, said the future isn’t only about the connected car — it’s about the connected car factory, which will be greener, more sustainable, smarter and more flexible.

Cars of the future will feature amazing technology, he said — electrically powered accessories, advanced control systems and transmissions, more efficient engines, advanced materials.

Echoing other speakers, Baron also predicted a future of shared cars, in which you might take a small car to work but have easy access to a larger car for a vacation.

And all this high tech will require plenty of brainpower, Baron said: “If you want a job in engineering research, think Michigan first.”

Michael Ford, CEO of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan, spoke about the transit study now under way by his agency, formed by the state Legislature in 2012. The RTA’s board — two each from Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb counties, one from the city of Detroit and one from the governor’s office — plans to be on the ballot in November 2016 with a regional mass transit funding proposal.

Metro Detroit’s much-maligned mass transit system now has 156,000 average daily riders. And Ford pointed out that from an economic development standpoint, “even if you don’t use mass transit you still benefit from it.” He said both young millennials and seniors “want to be able to get to where they want to go without
having to have a car.”

Chuck Gulash, director of the Collaborative Safety Research Center of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc. in Ypsilanti, talked about the Japanese automaker’s efforts in researching the future of transportation. Included is everything from small urban vehicles to robots to artificial intelligence to research into automated driving. Toyota’s approach with the CSRC, which is funded through 2021, is to share its research results openly. The CSRC is working with 19 universities in its efforts, including the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University and Wayne State University.

And, Gulash said, “We are hiring and are here at LTU recruiting.”

The next speaker, Douglas E. Patton — executive vice president of engineering and chief technical officer at Denso International America Inc. in Southfield, as well as the current president of ESD — spoke next, offering a “reality check” on autonomous driving.

“To me, it’s sleeping in the back seat,” he said. “If I can’t sleep in the back seat it’s not really autonomous.”

By that yardstick, Patton said, autonomous driving is a long way off. He offered the Society of Automotive Engineers’ five levels of autonomous driving, from Level 0, no automation, to level 5, full automation in all driving situation and all weather conditions.

Patton said today’s most advanced vehicles look like level 2, partial automation, or level 3, conditional automation with the driver in the loop.

Denso provides a lot of the systems that will eventually be used in autonomous driving — powertrain control systems, informatoin and communication systems, driving control and safety systems.

And he said to get to real autonomous driving, “the technology has to work all of the time, every time, 100 percent of the time, in all conditions. Ninety-nine percent of the time is not an option.” He said barriers to autonomous vehicles lie not just in technology challenges, but consumer acceptance and liability issues. But he said eventually, advanced technologies will sharply curtail accidents.

J. Gary Smyth, executive director of global research and development laboratories at General Motors Co., said the automaker’s tech efforts now focus on six key areas: propulsion and emissions; connected vehicles; advanced materials; sensors, processors and memory; manufacturing technology; and business analytics.

He said the highways of the future look more shared, electric, autonomous, and connected.

He predicted “a lot more” electric vehicles, as advanced batteries ease range anxiety, and many more electric-gas hybrids, including a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu that will get almost 50 mpg in the city.

He said technologies now under development include vehicle prognostics — predicting when parts will fail — and more vehicle autonomy and communications.

“We will get to autonomous, but it will take much longer to get to driverless,” he said — but eventually, he predicted cars would become “horizontal elevators,” where you push a button and you’re there.

He also predicted far more car sharing among the young.

“We have gone from a society that wanted to own things to a society that just wants access,” he said. “All I want is access but I want it 24-7.” An example of this trend is the move from record albums to CDs to iTunes to streaming. “People want streaming like access to cars,” he said.

Smyth also said southeast Michigan is “the hub of intelligent vehicles.”

In the Q&A that followed the presentations, the panelists were asked which college course was most valuable to them in their careers. Smyth said design, Baron answered communications, Patton and Steudle said systems engineering, Gulash said business, while Ford said philosophy, because “it taught me how to
think.”

Steudle said systems engineering taught him “how things fit together. In my job right now there are so many unrelated related things that you don’t realize are related.” Also, he recommended communications courses, “so you can stand up here and give a speech.”

CES Tech Show Has Strong Michigan Presence

LAS VEGAS — A record 43 Michigan-based companies will be exhibiting at the 47th annual International CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) this week in Las Vegas, Nev.

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