New Auto Factories: Michigan Need Not Apply
Speaking of Michigan, Glenn Reynolds observes,
SO THE CAR INDUSTRY IN MICHIGAN IS IN TROUBLE, but foreign carmakers are eager to open new factories in the United States — just not in Michigan. If I were a Michigan politician, or voter, this would make me think about what Michigan is doing wrong.
The link is to an AutoBlog story about VW’s quest to build a new American plant, with North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia as “the leading candidates.” It doesn’t offer any analysis as to why but, presumably, the answer is that those are right-to-work states with competitive wages, good weather, coastlines, and solid schools, particularly at the university level.
One imagines that the first on the list — the unfriendliness to unions — is the most important. But it’s not the only factor; the boom in foreign auto manufacturers coming to the USA in the last fifteen years or so has left out Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and other wage-friendly states that are otherwise weak on some important quality of life measures. I’d wager that, if Michigan were to suddenly figure out how to compete on a wage basis, they still wouldn’t be on the list.