The market is changing and shifting and GM just got on board with global consumer trends in a big way! Self-driving and electric cars are going to change the market in fundamental ways as other types of technologies follow suit. A growing trend over the past few decades increased the demand for renewable energies and cleaner cars. The technology and investment interests seemed to have matched at this time on our path to a more efficient data driven way of existence. This transition may be a good thing for Michigan as investment dollars move into a changing industry. It is an opportunity for the U.S. to draw in more interest and secure Michigan as next generation vehicles. There may well be a much much bigger market than automobiles a decade or so down the road as alternative clean forms of energy hit a very large up coming global middle class.
When large companies like GM invest this much capital into an area, they plan to be there for a while. They are geographically "invested" so to speak and will likely encourage their suppliers to invest as well (a type of pack investing). These suppliers may not have any choice if they want to continue to supply to these large manufacturers. Thus the system engages in a type of butterfly effect of innovation.
Furthermore, under a boon scenario we may find other global manufacturers following suit; albeit a little bit smaller. Who knows? Other large automotive manufacturers may find that the want to compete and so something similar thereby creating synergy. Synergy occurs when companies that are geographically centered compete and collaborate in a way that they enhance each other and make quick innovations in a kind of "race".
If synergy of development can be found growth with explode (in theory) as all of the resources of the system are brought into to match innovative capacity. Resources move, adjust, sift through, and enhance all of the systems through the physical and social intellectual capital of the area. Detroit has the basic infrastructure build off of older manufacturing models and this could lead to a higher local platform if multiple companies invest at once in a big way.
Industries that use similar technologies also need to access to specialized human capital, networks of similar businesses, and innovative opportunities through shared resources. For many companies, finding places where the right environment exists where they can nestle into existing business networks to increase break-out sustainability is important. Thinking like a system can change the dynamics.
We often think of production as something the company did in isolation. Not so. There success is in relation to all of the elements and networks being ready to accept rapid growth. It is people and their abilities that put these resources and structures together in a way that build powerful companies and at times empires. We are a type of mound building species that constructs just to reach to the stars (Think of the next generation of space shuttles will look like and how commercialization is going to rely on more renewable solar type energies to increase reach. Could Detroit meet that need in 30 years?).
The question investors might want to ask is , "What other electric businesses might use some of the same technologies, infrastructure and skills GM will need?" Perhaps electric motorcycles, bikes, scooters, robots, etc, etc.... Companies conduct their own analysis of their prospects. It is their function to improve shareholder wealth while still contributing to the advancement of society. Matching opportunities and attracting companies that need access to those resources is a great way to bring back manufacturing.
1. Are there other large manufacturing companies that are willing to do something similar to GM? They do need to stay competitive so it is likely others are thinking about further investments.
2. Are there other types of foreign and domestic companies that may find the infrastructure and environment (finance, political, education, etc...) ripe for their manufacturing capitalism?