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2022 Michiganians of the Year

Mark Reuss kept GM investing in Michigan, Detroit to build EV future here

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Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Co., has been instrumental in leading the company into the electric future and making Michigan, and Detroit, central to that vision Max Ortiz, The Detroit News

While businesses in Silicon Valley stake the claim they are leading the future of the auto industry, Detroit-based General Motors Co. hasn't backed out of staying true to its home state. 

In fact, GM is investing billions here to revive decades-old plants for its all-electric future. Most recently, the company announced $7 billion in investment here with most of that going toward EV manufacturing. The company also invested more than $2 billion to revitalize the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for EV production after previously placing that plant, now known as Factory Zero, on a closure list. Overall, the company has invested $19 billion in the state since 2011.

GM President Mark Reuss, a Detroit native, has been, in part, the face of these investments and played a role in making them happen. Reuss' dedication to keeping Michigan and Detroit central in GM's future has solidified the company's mighty manufacturing and development presence here for years. These investments by GM have proven Michigan and the Midwest still dominate the auto industry.

2022 Michiganian Mark Reuss
Michiganian Mark Reuss
Max Ortiz, The Detroit News

"If you look at what we're creating here, it's really a very high-tech manufacturing and technology center in Michigan," Reuss says. "And that's my vision of what this can be and I think our company is leading that with the investments that we're doing here, with the employment that we have here. And we're out to win the electric vehicle transformation, too, and we're well-positioned to do that."

State and local support encouraged GM's recent $7 billion investment announcement, but transitioning Michigan plants to build EVs was inevitable given the automaker's footprint here and its plan to eventually only make zero-emissions products. Of that $7 billion, a $2.5 billion investment will fund a new battery cell manufacturing facility near Lansing and $4 billion will go to build EVs at an existing assembly plant, Orion Assembly north of Detroit. 

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GM President Mark Reuss
If you look at what we're creating here, it's really a very high-tech manufacturing and technology center in Michigan. And that's my vision of what this can be, and I think our company is leading

Reuss has pushed the state "to be better" and "to know what we're competing against, to make decisions that will allow us to be more competitive," says Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Quentin Messer. Reuss "understands who and what Michiganders and Michigan is at its core, which is inventiveness."

GM does more than make cars here. The automaker also designs and develops here, bringing in employees from all over the world. GM employs 51,000 in the Great Lakes state. 

"I don't think we fully understand that, relatively speaking, there are very few of us cities that can say that they are global," Messer says. "Detroit is one of the few, and it's because of this sector."

Reuss is proud of where the company and his Motor City home are at today. And as far as he's concerned, Detroit is still leading the industry. 

Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Co., has been instrumental in leading the company into the electric future and making Michigan, and Detroit, central to that vision from inside the GM Design Center at the Warren Tech Center on April 26, 2022. 




































 Boodle's in Madison Heights.

Friday, April 15, 2022. 

Max Ortiz, The Detroit News
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Co., has been instrumental in leading the company into the electric future and making Michigan, and Detroit, central to that vision from inside the GM Design Center at the Warren Tech Center on April 26, 2022. Boodle's in Madison Heights. Friday, April 15, 2022. Max Ortiz, The Detroit News Max Ortiz, The Detroit News

"I never thought that in my lifetime this would be at a point where we're almost at the real transition where we accelerate in terms of the city and its employment and the technology and the companies that are here," he said.

"But I feel very, very good today ... very proud."

Outside of his leadership role at GM, Reuss is a member of the Duke Fuqua School of Business Board of Visitors and is GM’s key executive at Duke University. He chairs the board of trustees at Cranbrook Educational Community and serves on the board of trustees of The Henry Ford, the Skillman Foundation, Horizons Upward Bound, Detroit Workforce Development Board, the Detroit Education Coalition and the CEO Leadership Group on Regional Economic Development.

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter:@bykaleahall

Mark Reuss

Age: 58

Occupation: General Motors Co. president 

Education: Bachelor's of engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and a master's of business administration from Duke University

Family: Married with three children

Why honored: Reuss was a central figure in GM's decision to pick Michigan, its home state, for $7 billion in investment, with most of that for electric-vehicle manufacturing. The decision to keep Michigan key to its electric future is keeping the Midwest relevant in the evolving auto industry while Silicon Valley fights to be seen as the region with the latest auto technology. 

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