Foreign automotive manufacturers and suppliers from Asia and Europe are scouring Michigan for new engineers and designers. Some, such as Hyundai Motors, are even setting up local research and development (R&D) facilities to attract such individuals.

"This area's access to … talented engineers and designers … and rich automotive history have combined to create a matchless environment for success," Hyundai Vice Chairman Sang Kwon Kim said in a speech at the (new) Michigan (Hyundai) R&D center in October.

The companies are driven by shortages of talent in their own home markets. Many of their engineers are either retiring or, in Toyota's case, the company is expanding too rapidly for its current workforce. Estimates so far show that at least three thousand new engineering positions have been created by the influx of foreign companies in the center of domestic manufacturing with the numbers expected to rise in the future. And while Detroit as a whole is worried, engineers, many whom were retired from the Big Two, see it as an opportunity.


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