Hear the conversation 18:45 min – 10.7 mb mp3
“Eastern Michigan University alumnus and USA Today business writer Nathan Bomey has been very, very busy of late covering the North American International Auto Show, implications for American business as we transition to a new regime in Washington, the on-going saga of the Volkswagen settlement—and more,” says Kirk Heinze.
Bomey covered a variety of topics for MLive.com and the Detroit Free Press before joining USA Today in 2015. He recently joined Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes to talk about some of the environmental implications of these topics.
Bomey describes the world’s move toward mobility and autonomous vehicles and talks about outcomes from the Big Three CEOs’ meeting with President Trump. How will a Trump administration impact the automotive industry and the entire economy?
“Autonomous and electric vehicles are really no longer a question of if, but more a question of when,” says Bomey. He says the automakers are worried about the future of NAFTA, too.
“The automakers would be disrupted substantially if somehow that fell apart. So they want to preserve as much of NAFTA as possible while recognizing that it’s likely to change in some capacity. On the other hand, they’re very eager to get some breathing room on the fuel economy standards.”
He says “it’s good for business” for companies to be sustainable in their practices and tells how many corporations have found that environmental stewardship goes hand-in-hand with economic and community sustainability. And how being “green” helps attract top talent.
Bomey has written extensively about the Volkswagen settlement and gives an update on the $15 settlement he covered last fall. He and Heinze both wonder why VW would expend the time, money and expertise to develop a brilliant software system to circumvent admissions testing when perhaps the same investment would have resulted in admissions reductions that would have been in compliance. Bomey says VW’s engineers simply couldn’t meet stringent U.S. emission standards.
Bomey talks about his acclaimed book on the Motor City’s trip to bankruptcy and back titled Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back. He’s optimistic about Detroit’s future.
“This was a humanitarian crisis. The people of Detroit were just waiting for someone to come along to actually give the city a second chance. When Kevyn Orr as emergency manager came in and said the city has to file for bankruptcy, and start putting its people before its creditors, that was the first time that Detroit finally started to actually move in the right direction with its finances.”