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A heightened level of new launch activity in the automotive sector coupled with a supply chain running at near full capacity has led to a wave of new business for one West Michigan firm.

Inside the new headquarters of Rockford Construction Co. Inc. in Grand Rapids, a wall of beautifully stained and carefully arranged ash planks curves gracefully and rises three stories to the ceiling, filling the building’s atrium with warmth.

The latest activity index for the office furniture industry has business on the upswing as it moves into the latter half of the year.

As the so-called “blueberry capital of the world,” it’s no surprise that lakeshore community of South Haven has its share of agriculture-related businesses.

Automotive industry participants are in the pleasant position of being part of the good news for a change, as the North American automotive industry continues to be a bright spot in the economic landscape.

Automotive manufacturing is Pure Michigan. And if Mike Finney has anything to say about it, the state will begin to use its popular branding campaign as it talks about its automotive manufacturing and supply chain assets. 

When Gov. Rick Snyder brought up Right To Work at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars — an event attended mostly by executives at automakers and suppliers — he was greeted with both applause and boos.

A move by General Motors to make the 2014 Chevrolet Volt more affordable will likely help boost sales in the short term, but the price cut probably still won’t help the automaker meet its sales projections.

It’s no surprise that the need for a global emissions standard was an overarching theme at this morning’s Advanced Powertrain Forum at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminar.

There’s no signs of a slowdown for the automotive supply chain:  25 North American auto plants are running at three shifts, and 41 new vehicle launches are coming online in the next year, according to data from IHS Automotive.

CAR Briefings: No second car for Gen-Xers

Written by | Tuesday, 06 August 2013 09:28 |

ACME — Despite all the talk that millennials aren't buying cars, the real problem is that Gen-Xers aren't buying a second car, according to an auto analyst speaking this morning at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City. 

ALLEGAN — Over-the-counter drug maker Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO) has long wanted to grow its international business, and the transformational acquisition of Dublin, Ireland-based biotech firm Elan Corp. (NYSE: ELN) announced last week offered the company an attractive vehicle to work toward that goal, according to company executives.

Gentex Corp. has finally decided it’s time to tap into the company’s massive piggybank.

The announcement that Gentex would acquire the HomeLink portion of Johnson Controls’ electronics business unit came four months after JCI said it was considering selling the unit as it planned to focus on its core seating products.

Aiming to beef up its new product pipeline, medical device manufacturer Stryker Corp. continues to push R&D spending higher.

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