Target Industries

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Automotive Supply Chain

man and woman in front of industrial equipment


Michigan leads the world in the design, development and production of cars and trucks, and is the home of General Motors, Chrysler Fiat and Ford Motor Company.   Our state employs more mechanical and industrial engineers than any other in the U.S. and has the second most engineers of all types in the country.  Michigan also is home to 61 of the world’s top 100 automotive suppliers.

St. Clair County is a preferred location for tiered automotive suppliers.  The county provides a central location and is an international gateway to the automotive supply chain through the Blue Water Bridge and CN rail tunnel.  The county provides the following key advantages to automotive suppliers and OEMs:

  • Highly productive and skilled manufacturing-based workforce
  • Significant plastics cluster with a location quotient of 1.8
  • 25 assembly plants located within four hours of our location
  • OEM assembly plants in the region include Chrysler Fiat, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Honda and Toyota
  • Located on I-69, a NAFTA highway connecting Canada, U.S. and Mexico via highway and rail
  • RESA Tech Center annually produces national award-winning talent in machining, welding and automation
  • Cost of living below national average
  • Labor costs below or equal to other automotive clusters in the U.S. (Source: Stats America)

Global Tier 1 Suppliers

Company Country Product
ZF Group Germany Axle
Mugele Germany 3PL
MAPAL Germany Cutting/Tooling
ALD Thermal Treatment Germany Heat Treat
MAG Power Group Germany Assembly Systems
Adler Pelzer Germany Fabric/Insulation
Norma Group Germany Plastics
Eissmann Automotive Group Germany Leather Interior 
SMR India Mirrors
Grupo Antolin Spain Interior Plastics 
Michigan Metal Coatings Japan Metal Treatment
Keihin Japan Engine Components
Chassix US Control Arms
Dana Corporation US Tubing/Cooling
Mopar US Parts/Coating
International Automotive Components US Carpet/Deck
Engineered Plastic Components US Plastics
R & E Automated Systems US Automation/Prototypes/Engineering
TI Automotive US Fluid Lines
US Farathane US Plastic Interiors
PTM Corporation US Metal Stamping and Tools 
Shawmut US Lamination/Composites
Sejasmi Industries India Die Casts
Auto Anodics US Parts Finishing 
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Advanced Plastics / Compounding & Green Chemistry

The aluminum and plastics/composite industries are developing advanced materials to help auto makers and aerospace companies design lighter and safer components.  Leading technology companies are also developing weight-saving solutions for steel and aluminum.

St. Clair County is well positioned to support the growth of this sector.  The county boasts three power plants, with a fourth under construction, along with wind and solar renewable energy sources.  Our Midwest-leading underground natural gas storage, along with oil lines, carry important energy resources to the cluster of chemical companies located across the river in Sarnia, Ontario.

It’s not a surprise that many plastics companies and an ethanol plant are located here, supporting this growing industry.

Existing Plastics / Compounding & Green Chemistry Cluster:
Adler Pelzer
Blue Water Foster Oil
Dynamic Polymer Solutions
Engineered Plastic Components
International Automotive Components 
Intertape Polymer Solutions
Grupo Antolin
Marysville Ethanol 
Pier One Polymers

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Robotics and Automation

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The ordering of robots from North American companies has sharply increased, not only in the automotive sector, but also in non-automotive industries such as semiconductors, life sciences, and food & consumer goods.  Technology behind robotic and automated systems touches many industries.  Robotics Industries Association (RIA) estimates 230,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robot use.
Manufacturing and robotics sectors have also become tightly linked in recent years. On factory floors, electronics play a vital role in manufacturing worldwide.  The ever growing drive for efficiency and quality, both at the factory and in the supply chain, will make automation technologies more and more essential for years to come.
St. Clair County companies that develop robotics & automation technologies in St. Clair County, Michigan include:

  • Blue Water Controls
  • R & E Automated Systems
  • Eckhart
  • Preferred Industries
  • MAG Global Machine

Resources to support Michigan-based robotics automation firms include: Robotics Industry Association World Headquarters, Michigan Manufacturers Association, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.

St. Clair County Community College offers a Mechatronics Associate Degree and Robotics/Automation Technology Associate Degree.

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Agricultural Processing

Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is flourishing.  Michigan produces more than 300 commodities on a commercial basis, making our Great Lakes state second only to California in agricultural diversity.  We grow everything from cranberries to Christmas trees. We also have a thriving animal agriculture farming community.

Michigan leads the nation in the production of 17 commodities, including tart cherries, blueberries, three kinds of dry beans (black, cranberry and small red), 11 floriculture products (including begonias, geraniums, petunias and impatiens), and pickling cucumbers.  Michigan also ranks in the top 10 for 40 other commodities.

Michigan’s top exported commodities are soybeans, corn, wheat and dairy products

Michigan internationally exports one in every three rows grown annually.  Top export markets are Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea and China.

Why choose St. Clair County, Michigan, for Agricultural Processing?

  • St. Clair County serves as an international border crossing with a top agriculture export market: Canada  
  • Over 60 percent of all Michigan’s agricultural exports go directly to Canada
  • An abundance of fresh water with 220 miles of surface water 
  • Enjoy close proximity to Michigan’s nearly 2,000 licensed food processors
  • 24’ Deep Water Port Access with rail spur
  • Major Expressways include I-94, I-69 and Canada’s Highway 402
  • Two class-1 railroads with double-stack cargo capacity into Ontario 
  • St. Clair County’s strong manufacturing community can help innovate your processes

Regional Agricultural Processing Companies:
American Patriot Hops
Green Thumb Gourment Garlic
John A. Biewer Company
C Roys, Inc. 
Gielow Pickles
Marysville Ethanol
Michigan Sugar
Vlasic Pickles
Dunn Paper
Domtar Paper

Links and Resources:
Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Michigan Agriculture Infographic (PDF)
Agricultural Financing Fact Sheet (PDF) - Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Guide to Marketing Your Michigan Food and Agriculture Products

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Warehouse, Logistics and Distribution

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Mobility is one of the most important characteristics of economic activity within a region. As the northern entry point of the NAFTA corridor, St. Clair County makes moving goods, materials and people easy. With multi-modal assets supporting travel by highway, water, air and rail, St. Clair County provides quick and easy access to larger markets in the U.S. and Canada as well as to key suppliers in the automotive, alternative energy and defense industries.

St. Clair County's location & outstanding transportation network make the area especially attractive to companies that need easy access to major markets, but would like to do without the congestion of a large metropolitan area.  The I-69 corridor and CN line link directly to deep water ports in Canada: Port Ruppert on the west coast, and Port Halifax on the east coast.

Quality of Place

A St. Clair County location provides value to companies that ship or receive goods along the I-69 NAFTA corridor, including the following:

  • A central location in North America for distribution to and from international markets
  • Quick connections to/from Canada  via the Blue Water Bridge. The Blue Water Bridge is far less congested than the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit and connects with two major highways.  
  • The CN railroad crosses under the river through a double-stacked tunnel, allowing more freight to cross the border at once.
  • Freighters travel through the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, the midpoint of the St. Lawrence Seaway system. Deep water ports along the shoreline, including one in Marysville, can accommodate Great Lakes and ocean-going freighters.
  • St. Clair County offers an international private/cargo airport complete with U.S. Customs services and also close proximity to two nearby major airports (Flint’s Bishop Airport and Detroit Metro Airport).
  • Close proximity to the world’s largest automotive cluster and supply chain, as well as the southwest Ontario and Michigan food belt

Warehousing, Logistics and Distribution Regional Companies:
Buckland Global Trade Services
Livingston International
XMI Logistics
DHL Global Forwarding 
Fedex Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage
Worldwide Carriers 


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