While some automakers flee Detroit, start-ups see opportunity

With all three of the domestic automakers scrambling to shed jobs at U.S. facilities including their Detroit area engineering facilities and headquarters, others are seeing opportunities. When Tesla Motors started doing some preliminary work on their WhiteStar sedan early in 2007, they opened an office in Rochester Hills and started hiring engineers who had left the domestics but had experience in body engineering and manufacturing. Those were both areas that Tesla had left largely to Lotus when the Roadster was being developed.

Another aspiring alternative drive automaker is now apparently looking at southeast Michigan this time as a potential manufacturing base. After publicly showing a styling mockup of the Fisker Karma at the Detroit Auto Show, the designer-turned builder is considering staying in the area to do manufacturing. There is no shortage of shuttered factories and experienced auto workers in the area. In addition, most of the major suppliers who might be called upon to supply components, subsystems or even complete final assembly have at least offices or engineering facilities in the region. The Big Three might be scaling back as fast as they can but there seems to be no shortage of scavengers willing to pick through the wreckage to find some good pieces.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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