Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said the North American International Auto Show may help reverse Detroit’s battered image after the Motor City’s record-setting Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing.
“This is time for solutions. I think by having the auto show here — particularly the international press — hopefully it’s an opportunity to come and see Detroit is already coming back in terms of so many exciting things going on, and as we resolve this issue with the bankruptcy, Detroit is going to be one of the great places to invest and live in the future,” Snyder said.
Snyder declined to say how much state support he would back as part of a deal with foundations to help resolve the city’s bankruptcy filing. Foundations have pledged at least $330 million to help protect city-owned art at the Detroit Institute of Arts and city retiree pensions. He said given that mediation is confidential, he didn’t want to talk about his position — except he praised the efforts of the federal mediation team to try to help resolve the bankruptcy.
“I think it’s unprecedented to see the foundations coming together,” Snyder said. “To come together in a bankruptcy situation, to talk about retirees and art, I don’t think that’s happened before, and at the scale they’re talking about.
Snyder, in an interview later on Tuesday with The Detroit News, said any state support would need to include the House and Senate.
“If we did do something, it clearly would have to be in partnership with the legislators, because it would involve appropriations and dollars,” he said. “A settlement would be a preferred answer.”
Snyder sat in a number of Michigan vehicles and visited more than a half dozen stands. He sat in a GMC pickup and Ford Mustang — and got an up-close look at the 2015 aluminum F-150. He stopped by the Mercedes-Benz stand to check out some Detroit Diesel engines built in nearby Redford Township — and looked at some Volkswagen and Audi vehicles as well.
Snyder said the mood of the show is much better than the grim days after the 2009 bankruptcies. “This is the place to be in the world this week,” Snyder said.