President Obama highlighted the difference that investing in innovative technologies will make to the American auto industry, our economy, and ultimately our environment during a visit yesterday to Johnson Controls, an advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, Michigan. The facility is the first in the United States to produce complete lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles—helping automakers meet the historic new fuel economy standards the administration announced last month.
Speaking to employees after a tour of the plant, the President said:
“Look at this factory. Look what’s happening in Holland, Michigan. Every day, hundreds of people are going to work on the technologies that are helping us to fight our way out of this recession. Every day, you’re building high-tech batteries so that we lead the world in manufacturing the best cars and the best trucks. And that just doesn’t mean jobs in Michigan. You’re buying equipment and parts from suppliers in Florida and New Mexico and Ohio and Wisconsin and all across America.
“So let’s think about it—what made this possible? The most important part is you: your drive, your work ethic, your ingenuity, your management. The grit and optimism that says, ‘We’ve got an idea for a new battery technology or a new manufacturing process, and we’re going to take that leap and we’re going to make an investment. And we’re going to hire some folks and we’re going to see it through.’ That’s what made it possible.
“But what also made this possible are the actions that we took together, as a nation, through our government—the fact that we were willing to invest in the research and the technology that holds so much promise for jobs and growth; the fact that we helped create together the conditions where businesses like this can prosper.”