University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Partners With Gov. Snyder to Transform the Auto Industry


Auto execs in Executive Education program met with the governor to discuss ways to build business partnerships with Michigan and China

As the auto industry continues to undergo a massive global transformation, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Governor Rick Snyder are working together to be at the forefront of the change in Michigan. Gov. Snyder recently met with more than twenty participants, staff and faculty of Ross’ Automotive Executive Development Program (AEDP)  to discuss how the state and China can work together to create more business in the auto sector.

“Michigan is leading the world in automotive technology, research and development. And with a greatly improved business climate, Michigan is the best location for Chinese companies to expand and create automotive jobs,” Snyder said. “As Michigan and China each pursue business in the interconnected autonomous vehicle space, we have the opportunity to partner with China on every step of our automotive industry evolution and growth.”

During the session, Gov. Snyder proposed various ways Michigan can become more business friendly and help entrepreneurs start more businesses, including connecting with potential investors, increasing exports from Michigan companies, and creating a Michigan/China innovation center. The AEDP is part of a partnership with the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, known as the UM-SJTU Joint Institute, the largest partnership of its kind at the university.

“Our AEDP program participants were thrilled to meet with Michigan Governor Snyder and his executive staff,” said David L.S. Hung, Associate Dean, Graduate Education, UM-SJTU Joint Institute, and Faculty Director of the AEDP. “This meeting has strengthened the important connection between Ross and UM-SJTU Joint Institute to identify disruptive factors which drive the future of the automotive and mobility industry.”

The AEDP is part of Michigan Ross Executive Education and is a two-week program designed to provide company leaders with the skills, best practices, and knowledge to transform the industry on a global scale, with participants from China, Europe and North America. It is open to executives with more than 10 years of work experience in various auto sectors, including OEM, Tier 1 or Tier 2 Suppliers, technology, finance and banking.

The program combines traditional classroom instruction with hands-on learning experiences, offering faculty sessions, company visits, and guest speakers from leading companies. AEDP was conceptualized in 2016 after academics and practitioners identified the need for leadership development in the midst of various disruptive changes taking place in the auto industry like autonomous vehicles, the popularity of ride-sharing economy, cloud technology and ecosystem business models.

“The auto industry is witnessing an unprecedented disruption of its traditional business model of selling vehicles to a customer every three to five years,” said M.S. Krishnan, Associate Dean, Executive Education and Global Initiatives and Global Program Director of the AEDP. “This change demands auto executives rethink their business models, customer engagement, business processes, pricing, supplier relations, and talent profile.”

This year’s program ran from April 28-May 12, and participants spent time in Shanghai, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Palo Alto, and San Francisco. Dates for the next program will be announced in June. Participation is by application.  For more information about Ross Executive Education, visit


About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business’ mission is to develop leaders who make a social impact on the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

About Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)

Established in 1896 as one of China’s first institutions of higher learning, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has become a comprehensive, research-oriented, and international top university in China, with 31 schools (departments), 63 undergraduate programs, 250 master's programs, 203 Ph.D. programs, 28 postdoctoral programs, and 11 state key laboratories. The university has more than 1,900 professors and associate professors, including 15 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 92 accredited professors and chair professors of the "Cheung Kong Scholars Program."

SJTU has developed strong scientific research and technological innovations. SJTU alumni have been playing a significant role and active part in the business, academic, and political circles. More than 200 of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering are alumni of SJTU.

About UM-SJTU Joint Institute (JI)

The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute is a premier engineering school jointly established by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan with the mission to establish a world-class research institute and to cultivate global, innovative leaders based on the successful experience of the University of Michigan.

Founded in 2006, JI has been recognized as Winner of the National Teaching Achievement Award and as a Model of Higher Education Reform in China. JI is the first Chinese academic institution to win the Andrew Heiskell Award for innovation in International Education – one of the highest honors in international higher education.

Today, JI boasts a top-caliber faculty team, 41 percent of whom have been awarded by national and Shanghai 1000-scholar Programs. JI’s excellent students stand out in international and domestic competitions, and JI’s graduates have succeeded in entering prestigious U.S. graduate schools or securing top jobs in multinational companies.

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